Updated: May 23
In this blog, I want to share my story with you. In a nutshell, this is a story about a kid who was adopted from Haiti and who felt called to return to help rebuild his community. After an earthquake struck my home country in 2010, I felt called to lead an impact trip, as a high school student, to go back to my community. The trip sparked a mini-movement of young adults who would start a school, a non-profit, and a music group...this is the story of Beyond Me Initiative.
Looking back...I don't know how it all happened...
I never had intentions of recording music for a living, starting a music group, and a non-profit organization to help my community in Haiti. The whole initiative started out organically. My early dreams consisted of becoming an FBI agent or a famous basketball player. But after revisiting my biological family in Haiti in March 2012, my mindset changed to pursuing a dream that was bigger than himself. I was quickly made aware of the need to for him to help rebuild my community. Returning from my trip in 2012, I said: “The kids were walking 5 miles to go to school in the next town because there was no school in Troufondbon. I felt like I could partner with Bettie (the missionary that found me when I was four years old and help me get adopted), and we could do something together to help the kids go to school.” For one year, I worked with Bettie Snyder to get a school started in my community.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE BY STARTING A SCHOOL
I was surprised to learn that for just $300 a month everyone in my community could go school. After my trip from Haiti, I returned home to the state of Washington and got to work, going around to businesses and friends, sharing my story, and asking them to sponsor the school. I helped Bettie raise $5,000 to keep the school afloat for two years. With the funds Bettie Snider and her established non-profit organization, GLOW Haiti, worked to start schools and provide assistance to orphans and widows. She made sure the new-found school in Trouforban had desks, chalk boards, and chairs for the students. The money people donated to GLOW Haiti went to pay for teacher’s salaries, kid’s meals, and books. A year later, I was told that a church had picked up the school project. This allowed him to hand off the fundraising responsibility for the school to someone else.