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School Scholarships

“You know what?  I cannot wait to wake up in the morning to go to school!  School is very hard and it is difficult for me to study at home with no lights, but I could not think of a better way to spend my days.  I hope everyone knows that my school scholarship has made me the happiest boy in the world.  Thank you for helping me be a better and happier person.”  – Fergusson, age 13

“My goal is to be a doctor so that I can heal the sick. Doctors are so needed in our country because so many are suffering.” – Rosenie, 8th grade

The What If? Foundation’s scholarship program began in 2001 to help students attend school in Port-au-Prince. At the end of the the 2016-2017 academic year, 15 students graduated from the program.  70 were attending the Father Jeri School, and the rest are continuing in their original scholarship schools. The students who remain in their original schools are either in a grade the Father Jeri School does not yet offer, or they live too far from Ti Plas Kazo to attend school there every day.

Because only about 10% of the schools in Haiti are public, and the tuition for private schools is more than most families can afford, many children in the Ti Plas Kazo neighborhood have almost no hope of getting an education. The School Scholarship Program began in the fall of 2001, when the What If? Foundation was able to provide the resources to enroll 4 children into schools. Over the years, as we grew, we gradually provided funds for more and more scholarships.

Our partners, Na Rive, run the Scholarship Program and select the students based on three criteria:  Need, Desire, and Character.   There are many more children who need scholarships than we have the resources to support, so there is always a very long waiting list of hopeful families.

Scholarships cover the costs of tuition as well as the costs of transportation, some books, uniforms, and miscellaneous school fees. Tuition averages $350 for elementary school students, and $500 for high school students.

(The photo on the right is of Nathalie Jeonnat, the student we sponsored at Quisqueya Medical School in Port-au-Prince. She is now a practicing doctor!)

Members of the Na Rive Education Team in Haiti meet with all scholarship recipients throughout the year, tracking their progress and providing encouragement and support. For the last three years, as a result of the effective after-school program tutoring classes, 98% of the students we sponsored graduated or advanced to the next grade level, which is an extraordinarily high pass rate for Haiti. The average national pass rate is far lower, and only about 5% of children who start school in Haiti end up graduating from high school.

“If you don’t know how to read or write, how can you become a president or a lawyer? We are going to school so that we can help our country, the people, and because in life everything is connected.”  Sarah, age 16

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