Student in Focus: Cassard Mackenley

By Cassard Mackenley and Elistin Sherline.



My name is Cassard Mackenley.

I am six years old. I am living with my mom and my God Mother.

My mother’s name is Elistin Sherline. My father’s name is Cassard Mackenson. My mother has four children. I have one sister and three brothers. My school name is Jim Mahar de Leogane. It is in Chatuley. I can write the letters and numbers very well. I like to go to school. I like to play with my friends Annie, Estael and Bony.


Mother speaking:

My boy was born in April 2010 in Leogane.

His father did not help during my pregnancy . And after the baby was born, he only made his birth certificate. He does not do anything for him. Sometimes, we got up very early to go to the school when I don’t money to pay a taxi. I spent 60 Gourdes on motorcycle taxi every day.

He was at Winnie Lourson school for his first kindergarten school year and he went to Jim Mahar for his second. I paid for his second year at Jim Mahar’s school. And this year, I was wondering where I was going to find money for his school. And I was very surprised when the Director told me that I do not have to pay, an organization will. The school also provided books for the students as well.

I just learned the name of the organization while telling the story. I thank you so much for what you did for son and I pray the Mighty God so He can give you money to help the population in need of Haiti. Thank you so much Haiti Scholarships.

cassard 3cassard2May the Lord protect you all! And We love you so much! The Donors are fantastic!

Mother’s Day: the gift that gives!

Yeye and her mom <3

This Mother’s Day, give a gift that gives back and gives twice: just click on our “donate” button on the right and a mom in Haiti receives the gift of education for her son/daughter, and YOUR mom gets a handmade card from Haiti-it’s a win-win!

Johny Joseph with his beautiful mother

Our students in Haiti worked really hard to make some great mother’s day cards for YOUR mom–donate any amount TODAY and get your hand made card to give to your mom on Mother’s Day.


Alex Fleurome and his mom

Follow us on Instagram (haitischolarships) or on Facebook to see more pictures of our students with their beautiful mother’s!

#haitimoms #giveback#giftsthatgive

Decorate your tree and support Haiti Scholarships at the same time!

Check out this fundraiser that our board member, Alexandra, is doing during the month of November. She is selling hand crafted ornaments that are made in Haiti and help support Haitians. Half of the proceeds go back to the organization (and supporting their wonderful day care center for their employee’s children), and the other half goes to Haiti Scholarships to help provide scholarships for our students. Click the link above to find out how to place your order and support two great causes at the same time!

Abby’s Birthday Fundraising Challenge

It’s time for another milestone birthday fundraiser!  One of dear board members, Abby Oliva, is using her 30th birthday for a wonderful cause: raising money to provide scholarships for our students.  The challenge is one you might remember from last year: get thirty people to make a donation to Haiti Scholarships.  The amount of money does not matter, what does matter is getting thirty different people to donate to Haiti Scholarships (and therefore aware of who we are and what we do!).  Donate if you can, and if you aren’t able to, please help by sharing with your friends, family, and social network!

Abby’s birthday deadline is July 9th, and although there’s plenty of time and she’s already 13% of the way there, the more help the better 🙂

Thank you Abby for lending your birthday to our cause!

New Board Members!

We are so excited to “formally” announce and welcome our new members to the Board of Directors!  Georgeton Charles and Catherine Edouard Charlot are both from Haiti, so we are very excited to have them and their input on board.  Christa Michaud and Abby Oliva have both volunteered in Haiti, and have a great passion for what Haiti Scholarships does.  We are excited to have all of their talents, skills, and time to serve our students better.  We already had our first meeting and I know they are going to be a huge asset to this organization.  If you’d like to find out a little more about them, feel free to check out their profiles here.

We also want to thank Aaron Davis, Carrie Jackling, and Jonathan Godbey for their service on our board!

New Ways to Contribute to Haiti Scholarships!

We know that money is always tight, so we have found a few new ways for you to contribute to Haiti Scholarships, and our hard-working students!

  1. First off, we’ve add a monthly donation option for $10.00 a month.  It’s more affordable than our previous lowest option of $25.00, and will still contribute immensely towards our scholarships.  You can sign up through our drop down menu on any one of our pages.
  2. Love shopping on  Amazon has started a new program called Amazon Smile, in which they donate a percentage of your purchase to a non-profit of your choice.  Haiti Scholarships is all signed up with the program, so you can start helping Haiti Scholarships with your purchases today!  In order for Haiti Scholarships to benefit from your purchase, you have to shop through instead of just, then select Haiti Scholarships as your preferred charity.  After that, shop as you normally would!  There are no additional fees involved for you, Amazon simply gives a portion of what you would normally pay.  The only downside is that this is not available on their mobile apps yet, so you have to shop on your computer!
  3. Love shopping online at other stores?  Shop with!  This one is a little more complex since you have to set up an online account, BUT, you can shop with hundreds of your favorite retailers and help Haiti Scholarships while you are at it!

So there you go!  Thank you again and again to those of you who have contributed before and who continue to donate to Haiti Scholarships.  Our students are working to hard for a better Haiti, and they wouldn’t be able to do it without you!


The Importance of our Monthly Donors

One of the biggest challenges for any non profit is fundraising.  I’m sure this comes as no surprise to many of you.  The greater challenge for an organization that was born out of a natural disaster, is how to keep potential donors interested years after this disaster has taken place.  Although Haiti Scholarships is the direct result of many of the founding members going to Haiti to help in the disaster response after the earthquake of 2010, the purpose and mission of Haiti Scholarships extends beyond this one disaster, and focuses instead on another disaster that has existed in Haiti long before the earthquake: the lack of access to education for millions of Haitians.  This is a disaster that has not gone away.

Our impact may still be small, as our recipients are still between 15-30 students a semester, but we know that for those 15-30 students, the financial help we are able to give them through your donations is life changing.  And that’s why we are still here.

Many times on Facebook or other social media we run fundraising campaigns asking for a minimal donation, but I wanted to take a couple minutes and tell you about the impact you can have if you sign up for a monthly donation.  Through our website you can sign up for a monthly donation of $25, $30, or $40.  That comes out to $300, $360, and $480 a year, respectively.  So far, we have five monthly donors signed up, and their monthly donations add up to $1620 a year.  This means that we are able to provide over 6 partial scholarships to students in Haiti.  They quite literally keep us in the business of helping our students in Haiti.

Think of the impact that you can have by signing up to be a monthly donor.  Although $300 or $360 is a big commitment when taken in the large sum, when you break it down per month, just think of the impact that your $25 can have on a student’s life versus eating out one night less a month, or skipping that movie (we all know you can’t go see a movie without dropping at least $20!).

If you still feel that a one-time donation is your best bet, by all means!  Your help, in any amount, at any time, is always appreciated, and always put to good use!  You might also consider donating to our president, Jim Mahar’s, special fundraising campaign for both Haiti Scholarships and for solar panels to be used at a local school.

Thank you again to all of our donors, both monthly and non-monthly: your generosity helps students like Lamarre and Jean Kendy to achieve their educational goals.



Although some of our students attend local schools in Leogane, many of our older students have to travel to Port au Prince for classes if they are enrolled at the university level.  This present many challenges to our students, above and beyond just the cost of transportation: traffic, availability of transportation depending on political or economic issues, the time it takes to get there and back, etc.  In order to give us a better idea of what some of our students face, I asked Lamarre to write up something I could share with all of you:

Education which is the base of development seems difficult for most of Haitian students to acquire. Many reasons explain that, but by emphasizing on Léogâne students’ traffic (transportation) will show us how hard and how costly it is.

Firstly, Léogâne is a town located 36 km (20 miles) West of Port-au-Prince. There you find many young people who are interested to pursue their education, but can’t because of the cost and how difficult the traffic is. The tuition for education is high on the one side and the cost of transportation is high on the other side.  The cost from Léogâne to Port-au-Prince (the station) back and forth is 60 haitian gourde for one day. If the school is far from the Port-au-Prince station, the student will need another 60 haitian gourde to take taxi that gives a total of 120 Haitian gourde for one day. Now  if you take 120 by 5 days of school it’s equal =  600g ht for one week, for 4 weeks of school in the month it should be 600 by 4 equal =2400g ht .It’s  equal about  55.18 us dollars. Now if the school is too far from the Port-au-Prince station, the student can go on foot and will not spend the 60g ht for taxi, the day will cost him/her 60g ht, the week  300g ht and the month 1200g ht which is a total about 27,59 us dollars for one month. Sometimes, if there’s shortage of buses, the price may be increased.

Finally, the traffic from Léogâne to Port-au-Prince is a big hindrance for the students. The cost  of transportation including food for the days, traffic jam make it hard that’s why sometimes Léogâne students miss some days of school because of money. In this case, if the student does not have good support he/she will not be able to pursue his/her education.

Lamarre has been receiving a scholarship from Haiti Scholarships for the last two years, and although we are unable to help cover transportation costs, he always goes above and beyond to make sure he gets to class, pays attention, and excels in his studies.  We are so happy that through your donations, we are able to help students like Lamarre attend school.  And we are so proud of all of our students that rise above and beyond the challenges that are presented to them when obtaining an education.

Photo courtesy of Avery Doninger

More Student Updates!

Benjica Leon

Although Benjica changed schools this year, he is doing very well and continues to enjoy math and trigonometry classes.  His dream is to be an engineer, so these classes are well up his alley!

Jean Kendy Estimphil

Jean Kendy attends university in Port au Prince.  This semester he took a class on how to write administrative letters.  This is important to him because now he knows what format he has to use to write these letters.

Marie Helene St. Juste

Marie Helene is happy to tell us that she is very proud of doing her homework every day, as well as passing her exams!  Marie Helene wants to be nurse, so she enjoyed her biology and chemistry classes the most.

Macon Michelot

Macon is dedicated on studying hard so he can get good grades in his school.  This semester he learned some new things in his accounting class, which he thinks will help him very much in his trade.

Birthday Challenge Fundraiser!

During her birthday month of February, our co-founder and Vice-President, Alexandra Armstrong, is using a milestone birthday to raise funds for Haiti Scholarships.

Here’s the challenge: in honor of her 30th birthday, she is trying to get 30 people to donate to Haiti Scholarships within the month of February. The donations can be of any denomination–they just have to be from 30 different people.

You can read a little more about it on her blog here.

So far she’s gotten four donors, and raised $100 for Haiti Scholarships: not a bad start!  Feel free to check back to see her progress.

Make sure you help her reach her goal by donating to Haiti Scholarships!