One of my biggest childhood regrets is that I didn't take advantage of education when I was growing up in Boston. I was a late bloomer, but in a country with so much opportunity, I was able to find a path that led me to a successful career in software engineering.
Our kids in rural Haiti live a very different life than those of us in Boston.
In Haiti, education is the difference between making it or not. The difference between getting a job to advance the community or having only one path as a subsistence farmer. Through education, kids in the 40 Summits primary schools can follow a very different path. Those lucky enough to have a K-12 schooling end up in careers in healthcare, government, tourism, manufacturing, agriculture, and technology. I am 100% sure that those children will transform Haiti.
Since founding Summits two years ago, we’ve seen many lives and communities changed in the Central Plateau, but to continue, we need your help.
I’ve seen the transformations with my own eyes. When I visited classrooms in the spring, I saw learning patterns typical of schools I’ve visited in other developing countries. Learning was by rote. A teacher was in front of the class reading, and students sat or stood in tight rows, repeating what the teacher said, even if there was no understanding of the materials presented.
Over the summer, Summits began an intensive educator training program, working with our partners InnovEd. When I visited these same schools in September, just a few short months later, I saw a transformation.
The school day now starts with kids and their teachers standing in a large circle outside their school playing games and talking with excitement about the day ahead. As a result, more kids are showing up to school on time, ready to learn.
The biggest change has transpired inside classrooms. Now, desks are organized in circles and the teacher's role is to get students to engage and help each other. There is great energy in these classrooms - students are energized, and teachers are energized. The change is remarkable.
I’ve spent my career building technology companies, but in Haiti the stakes are so much higher. We don’t need technology; instead, we need to embark on infrastructure improvements - clean water, latrines and building a cooking area at each school so students receive a meal every day. We need to continue to create learning environments nurtured by motivated teachers, who have materials and skills to equip students with what they need to thrive.
That's where you come in.
I ask for your support this year as we work to build safe, vibrant classrooms for resilient, dedicated students. Please consider a donation to Summits Education this holiday season. If you are ready, you can give here.
Our vision is bold. In the context of education in Haiti, it’s radical. As we work to raise the standards of education in Summits schools, I am driven by the underlying question: “what would I want for my own children?”
Like my own kids, I want our students to be safe, nourished and challenged. This is our work. On behalf of the entire Summits team and the communities we serve, thank you.