Updates from Haiti Transition Academy studentsGO Project
The Transition Academy, GO Haiti’s two-year vocational-technical training program, is designed to help young adults aging out of care make a successful transition into adulthood with relevant skills for the workplace. Transition Academy students are full of gratitude for the life-changing skills and opportunities they have been given through this education. A few of the students wanted to share some of their beautiful personal transformations that came as a result of their time at the academy. Read them below:
Ricardo Will Joseph
“I graduated from the Transition Academy’s agriculture program last August. I was born in a very small village called Fogas in Cayes. I have four brothers and three sisters. I grew up in a single parent family because I lost my father early in my childhood. Life was so hard for us. My poor and jobless mother could not provide food for the household and could not pay the school fees for most of us. Therefore, though I really liked to go to school, I ended up staying home for many years. Thankfully, God made a way for me to attend school. After my sixth grade, I went to a public school. There I stayed until my high school graduation. After high school, my mom could not afford to pay for university for me. It was a blow for me to stay home again, but I did not have any other choice.
After a while, I visited Pastor Elysée and told him my story and my struggles. He referred me to the Transition Academy as a great trade school through which I can acquire good competencies that will help me to succeed in life. I was so happy for this opportunity! I completed the application and integrated into the Transition Academy in 2017.
When I arrived on the campus, the disciplinary code they presented me with made me feel uneasy, but I gradually adapted myself and respected the principles. Rapidly, I fell in love with the school staff for the way they treated me and the way they loved me. They made me feel the campus was like home. I thank the Lord for the love he has poured in the leaders’ hearts. For my two years at the Transition Academy, I felt I was another person because of the trainings, the attention and advice we received from the leaders. The Transition Academy does not only give me access to trade skills, but also teaches me on how to manage my own life and prepare for my future. My character has been developed and my leadership skills enhanced. After the two years, the Transition Academy sent me to an internship that I went through successfully and resulted in employment. Now, I am working for an agriculture school and I love my job! Now, I can help myself and make a difference in the world because of the Transition Academy.
I want to thank you all for your love, your generosity and your courage. The work you are doing is not in vain. I can never repay you for all you have done for me, but God will reward you!
“I am from Cayes, more specifically from the Big House village led by Pastor Elysee Jean. I lost my mother last October after suffering a serious stomach pain over the years. I have two brothers. I have been a Christian since 2011. After my high school studies, I could not go to university because my parents could not afford to pay the fees. After staying home for two years, I started proactively searching for an opportunity to get higher education to pave my way to have a better future. That’s why I went to Pastor Elysee, I made him aware of my situation, then I asked him to consider filling an application for me to get admission in the Transition Academy. He accepted and they give me admission to the program. I opted for the sewing program.
When I first came into the school dormitory I felt alone because I did not have friends, but I gradually started making friends and surrounding myself with good people. Thus, the learning environment was pleasant and enriching. As I knew the reason why I integrated into the school, I strived myself to get the most out of the school day. I worked hard and practiced self-discipline because I wanted to succeed at all costs. My careful attention to what teachers were doing helped me to understand and help others understand as well. I do love what I am learning and the Transition Academy overall.
Because of the Transition Academy, my self-perception has drastically changed. The staff helps me to build self-esteem and to know my worth. I was poor mentally which has affected my behavior in many ways. The spiritual activities and spiritual advising make me closer to God everyday. I am in my second year, it is such a blessing that I never been reproached for a bad behavior. I am confident that It will remain the same till I graduate in August next year. I have received the best student of the month award since the beginning. To God be the Glory!
I could not do it without the support, the advice and the attention of the whole staff. The sewing skills I am acquiring make me believe that I have a better future. I am so grateful for this great opportunity you gave me to integrate the Transition Academy. I can’t wait to complete the program and to graduate!
To conclude, I thank God for having made a way for me. Thanks to you sponsors who deliberately commit to help the youth of Haiti. Thank you for your investment in us who are the future of this country. Thank you.”
“I am from Cayes, more precisely from Big House village led by Pastor Elysee. I successfully graduated from GO Transition Academy’s two year program on August 10, 2019. I am so glad to share my story with you all.
I grew up in a community where most of the people living there do not go to school. Education was not important for almost anyone, including me. I did not want to attend school because that was the trend in the community. After many years, I finally went to school. I could not succeed because I was not motivated toward success. My mother could not take care of me, so I asked her to send me in an orphanage. This is where I began to learn the importance of education.
I went to school and started to fall in love with education. When I turned 18, I was in ninth grade, I enrolled for the Transition Academy program. For the two years I spent in the program, I realized how education can transform lives and how the society is suffering due to lack of access to good education. I believe gaining trade skills can make people live their lives honestly and with dignity. I am so grateful for that!
During my two years at the transition Academy, I have acquired skills in sewing. I can use both manual machine and industrial machines to make clothes such as shirts, skirts, suits, blouses, jackets, uniforms and more.
Apart from the technical skills, I have also acquired communication skills, time management skills, interview skills, entrepreneurship skills, personal hygiene skills, budgeting skills, teamwork skills and cooking skills through trainings and hands on seminars. In addition, knowing more deeply who I am in Christ, developing a closer relationship with God and using my gifts to serve the Lord were things that changed my life in the program.
To be honest, sometimes it is hard to keep studying and to respect the principles, but now I am reaping the fruits. Today, I am so proud to be in Dominican Republic working in a sewing factory putting into practice what I have learned while being at the Transition Academy. I am now so optimistic about my future. I want to thank the donors for their generosity, GO Project and the whole staff of the Transition Academy for the education they have provided me, combined with their love, support and advice. Without the Transition Academy, I would not be the person I am and where I am. Thank you so much!”
“I come from Martissant, in Pastor Salvador’s church. My parents have four children. Though I grew up in a relatively small family, our financial condition was very tough. That said, my parents were struggling to take care of us. Sometimes I didn’t go to school for years because they could not afford to pay the school fees. Pastor Salvador knew our situation and sometimes paid my school fees because he knew I was smart, but just needed some help to move forward. After high school, I could not get higher education due to financial difficulties so he spoke to me about the Transition Academy. I was very interested, and I told myself I wouldn’t lose this opportunity for anything in the world. I filled out the application with the help of the social worker and was accepted into the Transition Academy.
For me, the Transition Academy was a learning and transformation center. They didn’t only give me access to a high-quality education, but also enhanced my spirituality, my character and my sense of responsibility. The Transition Academy is a bridge that connected me to a better life. I am so honored that I am a member of the second-year students committee. The leadership trainings have helped me to become a good leader. I have to admit, sometimes it is not easy to follow the principles, but I strive, I adapt and I commit myself to always be a model in terms of respecting rules. Sometimes I make some sacrifices to study at night, to wake up early, but I know in the end they help me succeed. I feel honored to be featured on students of the month list almost monthly. I am so happy for that!
Now, I am an adult and I know how to behave like a responsible adult, citizen and leader.
I thank and congratulate everyone who contributes to help the people in need like me to get a better future by having trade skills. If this institution was in each department of Haiti the country would be further ahead.”
We could not have said it any better than these students. Thank you for investing in their education and giving them hope for brighter futures for themselves and their families. Your donations are truly changing lives and are playing a large part in breaking the orphan cycle in Haiti and many other parts of the world.
Help More Transition Academy Students!
The program aims to cultivate young adults who are committed to serve, lead and give back. Its sustainability relies on contributors moved by its mission. To impact the next group of graduates, consider giving to the Orphan Transition Fund.