Why Higher Education?
Through the dedicated commitment of sponsors from St. Anthony of Padua parish, in Falls Church, Virginia, the community of Gros Marin has built Notre Dame de la Nativité (Our Lady of the Nativity) school that provides primary and secondary education for about 450 students. After 20 years of supporting this pre-school through high school facility, our founders Henry and Chris Gonzales wanted to do more. Providing a basic education is beneficial, but to create real change, Haiti needs leaders and skills that only higher education will provide.
Unfortunately, graduates of the Gros Marin area have generally not been able to afford university. Those who have moved to Port au Prince to begin studies, have experienced extreme difficulties in completing higher education financed solely by their families. In most cases, students who start a university degree program are unable to complete their programs. For example, several nursing students who graduated from Our Lady of the Nativity did well in their classes but were unable to complete their degrees.
Based on these experiences, PM has sought ways to provide scholarships to complete a three-year degree or other course of professional study.
The Leaders Program
How are Students Selected?
PM identifies, mentors and supports high-potential graduates from Our Lady of the Nativity School in Gros Marin to acquire advanced educational skills to benefit the student and the Gros Marin community. Based on their scholastic performance, leadership potential, their character and commitment to the Gros Marin community, students are supported with financial aid to provide for university tuition and living expenses, including a small transportation stipend if needed.