“My work for What If Foundation is a constant reminder of the existence of compassion. As I open letters, read messages and communicate with donors, I know they feel part of something extraordinary and wonderful. It is a joy for me to hear why people choose to give to Haiti and what brought them to the What If Foundation family.
I’ve traveled extensively in the West Indies, but being in Ti Plas Kazo for the opening of the Father Jeri School was especially memorable. I was able to see, first-hand, the direct and remarkable impact our donors and partner are making in Port-au-Prince.”
April Jones has worked in the field of finance and accounting for over 15 years. She holds a Bachelors degree in Finance from the University of Central Florida and a Master’s degree in Accounting from Nova Southeastern University.
She has worked in the capacity of a financial officer, finance manager and bookkeeper with various non-profit organizations. In addition, she has assisted in audit compliance of grants receivables for non-profit organizations.
Her background in accounting consist of working with clients in the healthcare, media and public relations, non-profit organizations, real estate and personal business services.
“Haitian history has always played a large role in my life and the lives of those who look like me. Much of what we learned in school about Haiti never truly shed light on the amazing feat Haitian’s accomplished by being the first country to abolish slavery through efforts led by their own people. My passion to see the people of Haiti become self-sustainable, healthy and stable through education and food programs is what brought me to What If Foundation. Through all the hardships, Haitian people have endured it all and embody what strength and resilience looks like.”
I am proud to join the What If Foundation and look forward to using my experience, expertise, and knowledge to ensure these programs are sustainable and have the possibility to expand across Haiti.”
Board of Directors
“Haiti is in my blood and my heart. Since I was a child, I’ve been impressed by how a nation with such great injustices and tormented history has managed to embody such wonderful warmth, liveliness and strength – making the Haitian culture so special and unique.
I feel fortunate to have found What If Foundation and take part in helping Na Rive improve the lives of children and families in Ti Plas Kazo. I believe in the kindness, empathy and focus the foundation stands for and, most of all, that transformation in Haiti will come through small community-driven steps towards the bright future it deserves. Piti piti na rive.“
Catherine is a Global Marketing Strategist.
Board Chair & Interim Executive Director
“There is a Haitian saying, ‘Dèyè mòn, gen mòn’ — it means ‘beyond mountains, more mountains.’ Many years ago, I learned this phrase from a UCC mission co-worker from Haiti, and after working in complex conflict settings for most of my career, I could not agree more. Throughout my work this phrase has guided me as it often feels that after overcoming one significant obstacle, you merely gain a clear view of the next one.
The Haitian people constantly face obstacle upon obstacle—more and more mountains—yet face them with an indomitable spirit of hope. I am excited to be part of the What If Foundation and share my knowledge of international program development, fundraising and external relations during this exciting time of growth for What If Foundation.”
Adam-Michael is Founder and Executive Officer at The Queer Livelihoods Project.
“Growing up in Haiti, I witnessed the struggle of Haitian families to send their children to school. As the What If Foundation’s first Education Coordinator and also a recipient of the education program, I’ve seen children who could only dream of becoming a lawyer or doctor, who are now lawyers and doctors thanks to the foundation. I also saw the impact of What If Foundation’s sponsored education, Summer Camp and Feeding program on the lives of hundreds of children living in Ti Plas Kazo community.
I am hopeful and optimistic that the partnership between Na Rive and What If Foundation will create more opportunity and hope for a better and stronger Haiti. The Foundation’s model of community-based partnership is a template for state and non-state actors working to build a brighter future for all Haitian children. That is why I support and contribute to the work of What If Foundation in Haiti.”
Wadner is a communications and policy strategist, and Chief Executive Officer of XtraMile Communications.
“I had the pleasure of visiting Na Rive in 2014, during a trip with Margaret, our Founder, and got a crash course in the history and the wonderful people of Ti Plas Kazo. It was impossible not to want to be more involved with the awe-inspiring work What If Foundation enables. Being able to witness the audacity of hope that struck me when I read Margaret’s book On that Day Everybody Ate, I found myself wanting to give wind to the wings that hope flies on. The legacy and vision of Father Jean-Juste is alive and well at Na Rive, and it is such an honor to be a part of that.
Kate is a Pastoral Associate at Sacred Heart & Our Lady’s Collaborative.
“I have never been to Haiti but I have been blessed to meet Haitians throughout my life–they are beautiful people, inside and out. It is an honor to be part of the What If Foundation Board of Directors working together with an incredibly talented group of people who are all deeply passionate about helping children and families live their fullest lives.”
Kelly is an enthusiastic major gift fundraiser at Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health.
“Having the opportunity to be in partnership with Fr. Jean-Juste when he was alive and to continue supporting his vision for the Ti Plas Kazo community with Na Rive is one of the greatest joys and privileges of my life. The care, heart, and devotion that goes into making the food and education programs in Port-au-Prince possible – both in the states through the What If Foundation board, staff, and donors and in Haiti through the members of Na Rive – is beautiful and inspiring. Love in action. Piti piti na rive! Little by little we will arrive.”
Margaret is the Founder of the What If Foundation.
“I had the privilege to introduce What If Foundation founder Margaret Trost to Haiti during a trip I led in 2000. It has been a joy to watch this program grow and evolve, and I am proud to be associated with it. I served on the What If Foundation board for over 10 years and I continue to work with various grass roots organizations in Haiti. The dignity and respect for the Haitian people at the heart of every aspect of What If Foundation’s methodology is what touches me most deeply and inspires me most consistently to stay connected and to let others know about this wonderful organization.”
Bryan is the Founder and Director of Crosswind Music Ministries, Haiti Allies.org, and CEO of the Convergence Music Project.
“I read Margaret Trost’s book, On That Day Everybody Ate, and it inspired me greatly. To be of service to a cause that helps so many Haitians was a calling impossible to ignore. To give back, to help those in need is the reason I so eagerly wanted to join as a board advisor. At the end of the day, it won’t be about how much money we made, or how many possessions we owned. It will be about what we did as individuals to make this world a better place for those in need. It’s an honor and privilege to be part of an organization that is making such a tremendous impact on the lives of so many.”
Mark is the Founder of Spiritus Financial Planning.
“I first developed an interest in Haiti when I traveled there with a church group thirty years ago. It was a blessing, therefore, to subsequently meet Margaret Trost, What If Foundation’s Founder.
I was inspired by Margaret’s generous response to her own experience in Haiti, and I was pleased to be able to serve on the What If Foundation Board for several years.
For the past several years, I have continued my involvement with the Foundation through volunteer bookkeeping work. It is a privilege to have a role in supporting the work of the What If Foundation — programs which enrich and empower the lives of so many children.”
Our Haitian partner, Na Rive, carries out the vision of celebrated Haitian human rights activist Father Gerard Jean-Juste (‘Jeri’) and runs the programs the What If Foundation funds. The Na Rive team led by Program Director Lavarice Gaudin, who worked closely with Father Jeri and took the reins of Na Rive after Father Jeri’s death in 2009, continues to work tirelessly through turbulent political and economic times to ensure that food, education, and hope are available to as many children and families as possible.
Na Rive is a Haitian nonprofit organization with deep roots in Ti Plas Kazo. The name Na Rive comes from the Haitian proverb “piti piti na rive,” which means “little by little, we will arrive.” Their ingenuity, resourcefulness, love and perseverance fuel every step they take to improve the lives of children and families in the Ti Plas Kazo neighborhood and beyond. We are incredibly proud to support their vision for the future of this community and for Haiti at large.
“Few organizations in Haiti have successfully helped those in need, and even fewer organizations have let Haitians lead the way. This is what makes the What If Foundation and its partnership with Na Rive unique and impactful.”Lavarice Gaudin, Program Director, Na Rive