It’s back to school time here in Leogane!This year marks our biggest group of scholarship recipients yet, thanks to support from the Child Survival Fund, and volunteer Jovan Julien. 28 brilliant minds and 28 promises to study and work hard to succeed – skills they’ve already learned on the soccer field.
Each one of our scholarship students has proven themselves to be a strong young leader in their community, attending GOALS’ soccer, community service and education classes nearly every single day. Many of them have served as team captains or volunteered at GOALS special events and all of them are dedicated to making their communities a better place to live. This year, some of our scholarship students are going back to school for the first time in three years.
Eighteen year old Andre, for example, has fallen behind his peers in school, but earned a scholarship based on his extraordinary attendance at GOALS English classes, where he often stays late to ask for extra help. He says “I feel bad every time I see my classmates. They ask me why they don’t see me at school anymore. It breaks my heart and I feel ashamed to tell them the problem.”
Others, like Raymond, attend school when they can, but can’t afford to attend full time. “Sometimes, the school director sends me back home because I have no money to pay for it. I can be a month without going to school because of the lack of money.” Parents such as Raymond’s often choose between paying for food or paying for school.
With nearly all of our soccer players living in similar poverty, choosing the best of the best to receive a scholarship is a difficult task, and students know that they need to work hard to show that they deserve their scholarship. Being a part of the Dream Team is not only a great opportunity for these kids, but also a great responsibility to maintain their eligibility.
Last week, GOALS staff met with our new group of scholarship students, the Dream Team class of 2013-2014.
At their meeting, the kids took time to hold elections for Dream Team President and Vice-president. We’re proud to share that Elcie, a long-term GOALS participant is this year's president. Obviously our efforts at building leadership and empowering young women have trickled down to this incredible group of young people!
At the meeting, the kids also received their school books, another big responsibility. Many kids in Haiti have to share their books or don’t have the opportunity to use school books at all.
These kids know that with a GOALS Dream Team scholarship, they’ll be able to go further and achieve more – in school, in soccer, and in life.
So here they are! Please meet the 2013-2014 GOALS Dream Team, wearing their new shirts, taking it very seriously and proudly posing. GOALS wishes you all good luck for upcoming the school year!
If you’d like to help make sure that these promising young students are able to complete their education, consider making a donation.
- $350 supports a student with tuition, books and uniforms for a year
- $100 provides educational materials for an entire soccer team
- $65 buys a bicycle so students living in rural areas can get to school
- $25 feeds an entire soccer team for a week