It’s Commencement In More Ways Than One

Sep 23, 2018 | News + Updates

“Pomp and Circumstance” filled the courtyard as our middle school graduates filed down the stairs for their graduation on September 15th. The day marked an important milestone for the Have Faith Haiti Bilingual School, as these graduates will be starting the first ever high school class at the school!

It’s a testament to School Director Cara Nesser and the teach staff for how far these students have come. Many of these students did not speak English when the school opened, and they are now excelling in both French and English.

In a philosophy class earlier this year, Collѐge 1 students (the second highest academic tier until the new high school course level, known as secondary school in Haiti) explored the notion of success. They were not given any assistance or requirements other than to be detailed in their rationale in explaining what it means to be successful.

These impressive compositions from Djouna and Widley are just a taste of the level of work these eager students are producing.

Djouna’s Essay:

Today, I’m going to tell you what makes someone successful. To be successful, you need to have three things. You need to have love, education and money. If you have these three things, you’re successful. In the end, you’ll see how these three things are related. Everyone can be successful in more than one way, but for me, to be successful you need love, education, and money. If you hope to be successful, you have to follow those three things.
First of all, to be successful, you need to have love. Even if you’re not educated or you don’t have money, you have to know what love is. Even if you’re not educated or you don’t have money, you have to know what love is. If you don’t have love, people will not see you as a good person. They will see you as a person that treats people badly, but if you have love, people will show their love in return. If you have something that another person doesn’t have and it was the only thing that you had, and you chose to give it to that person, you’re showing love. Probably one day when you don’t have anything, the person that you showed love to will show their love in return.
To be successful, the second thing that you need to have is education. To earn money, you need to have education. Education is really important. If you want to have money or if you want to get a job, you have to be educated. If you didn’t go to school since you were little, you can’t ask for a job, because they’re going to give you a test. If you did not go to school, how will you be able to pass that test? So far, do you see how love and education are related? To have education you need to have love, because love is the greatest thing of all.
The last thing you need to have to be successful is money. When you have money, you have a job. What I’m talking about is not that you have to be rich to be successful, but to have kindness in your heart when you have money. In my opinion, if you have money or you have a job and you don’t think about the others and you don’t have kindness in your heart, you’re not even close to being a successful person. To other people that are rich, they may think that you’re a successful person but for the others that don’t have all the opportunities that you had, they will think that you’re selfish. If you have money and a job and you care for others, in my opinion, you’re a successful person. If you’re kind to others, one day they will be kind to you. Do you see how love, education and money are related? If you don’t see how those three things word, let me tell you. To be educated or to have money you need to have love, to have money you need to be educated and to be a successful person, you need to have all three of those things.
As previously mentioned, if you have love, education and money, that makes you a successful person.

Widley’s Essay:

Before I start to answer this question, I want to tell you that the word “successful” itself is philosophical. Everybody has their own answer to this question and most of them think that money makes someone successful. However, I think that it means more than money to make someone successful. On the other hand, I think that money does make someone successful in a way. Let me tell you what I think makes someone successful.
To start, I think you could be successful in many ways. Furthermore, the most common version of being someone that is successful is money. Most people think that if someone has a lot of money, you are successful which is true. The way that I interpret this is that this person made goals before he had all this money. Before, he had to sacrifice himself by working hard and most importantly, he persevered. Eventually, he succeeded and had a lot of money but first he didn’t have all this money, it was actually reaching his goals that made him have all this money. On one side, I think money is just the big prize that you get for reaching your goals. In this case, I think reaching your goals makes you successful, not the money you get at the end.
To continue, if you want to be successful, you must set a plan. You won’t wake up and be successful because in our life time, you must work to get what you want. The first step to being successful is to make a plan of how you will achieve your goal. Moreover, for you to reach your goal, you must persevere. As one of my teachers once said, “Success doesn’t come without perseverance.” On the other hand, some kids are born rich and I imagine that some people might say that this kid is successful but for me, this kid is not yet successful. The reason that I said that was because this kid will only use his parents wealth and in his head, there will be no reason why he should work hard and bad luck might happen and eventually, he will be poor. Now people will say that this kid is not successful which is partially true. They are only looking at money but I am looking at the past because this kid didn’t take his parents wealth to a higher position, he just wasted it. However, if this kid made a plan of how he’s going to take his parents wealth to a higher position and he succeeded, in my eyes, he’s successful.
On second thought, how do you know you are successful? Before I answer this questions, there is a word that matches with successful and it is succeed. To succeed is actually achieving what you have planned to do. I figured out that they both mean the same thing but one is a verb and the other one is the adjective. So I think that for you to be successful you must succeed in what you wanted to do. For example, if you wanted to be an actor when you grow up and it came true, I could say that you are successful because you succeeded in what you wanted to do. Also, you know that you are successful when you reach what you wanted to do or succeeded in what you planned to do.
To summarize, in my opinion, I think that achieving your goals or in another word, succeeding in what you planned to do, makes someone successful.

Excited to begin the school year, students have been preparing by cleaning up their classroom, doing their “back-to-school” shopping, and trying on their uniforms!


Join us October 14, 2018 for a one-night only special event celebrating the launch of Mitch Albom’s The Next Person You Meet in Heaven at the Detroit Opera House, benefitting the children of the Have Faith Haiti Mission and Detroit. Guests include Anderson Cooper, Jane Pauley, Sophia Bush, ‘The Detroiters’ stars Sam Richardson and Tim Robinson, Joe Dumars, Bob Costas, KEM, and a video appearance by Jim Harbaugh. Details and ticket information here

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About Have Faith Haiti

Have Faith Haiti is a nonprofit organization providing safety, nourishment, education, and opportunity for Haiti’s impoverished children and orphans, and stability for staff and their families in Port-au-Prince. You can learn more here.