Board of Directors

Meet the Board of Directors for Haiti Scholarships:

Like most directors for Haiti Scholarships, Alexandra Armstrong volunteered in Haiti with All Hands Volunteers. Although her time there was brief, it was enough to rekindle her passion to work in promoting the welfare of others. Alexandra believes that education in Haiti is key; she hopes her work with Haiti Scholarships will help scholarship recipients have a lasting impact on their own lives and their country’s future. Alexandra practiced in bankruptcy and family law, and currently enjoins working as part of the office staff at a local junior high school in Orange County, CA.  She keeps herself busy with various personal projects and enjoying her beautiful family.  Alexandra graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 2005, and graduated from Chapman University School of Law in 2009.

alex@haitischolarships.org

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Julie Faughnan has been happily married to Don for almost 33 years and considers her three sons (Donnie, and “the twins”, Patrick and Gregory) her biggest accomplishments.  She retired from IBM after 30 years there, and is now a Procurement Consultant for the University of California Health Systems.   She spends half the year at her Dunedin, Florida condo and the other half back in Endicott, New York which is much closer to St. Bonaventure and her favorite charities: Haiti Scholarships, BonaResponds and Positive Ripples.  Her love for the people of Haiti began when her son Greg traveled to Leogane, Haiti with Jim Mahar to help out with various projects in Leogane.   The pictures of the sweet children who waited for Greg, Jim, and the others to return from their day at work just melted Julie’s heart.  She was very happy to accept the invitation to be on the board for Haiti Scholarships because she very much believes in their mission and knows she can help change the world one little act at a time.

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Jerry Godbout was introduced to disaster relief volunteering by Jim Mahar and BonaResonds after Hurricane Katrina devastated the US Gulf Coast in 2005.  He has joining BonaResponds on several disaster relief trips since then and now serves as an advisory board member.  His introduction to Haiti was a too-brief stay in Leogane with All Hands Volunteers in May 2010, along with several other BonaResponds members.

Jerry holds a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Florida and a Ph.D. from Michigan State University.  When not teaching Chemistry or helping Jim and/or BonaResponds, Jerry likes to grow super hot chilies and make maple syrup (though generally not at the same time).

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Jim Mahar is the founder and leader of BonaResponds, a volunteer organization that was started after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. BonaResponds has grown into a successful volunteer organization that has responded to disasters in thirteen states as well as helped in any way possible from cleaning kennels and walking dogs at the SPCA to building wheelchair ramps and houses, to cleaning parks, and pretty much everything in between. In the aftermath of the Haiti Earthquake, the group has sent over 35 pallets of supplies including 11 pallets of medical supplies, over 113,000 meals, 400 soccer balls, many tents, tarps, and now almost 20 barrels of school supplies. Jim and others from the group volunteered in Leogane with All Hands Volunteers. In his day job Jim is an associate professor of finance at St. Bonaventure University. He has a PhD from Pennsylvania State University, a MBA from the Simon School at the University of Rochester, and a BBA from St. Bonaventure. He is an avid runner and a cyclist.

jim@haitischolarships.org

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Christa Michaud is a Global Program Manager with the Caterpillar Foundation, where she manages the foundation’s global education portfolio.  She also consults with non-profit organizations on program development, goals, outcomes and metrics to evaluate the impact of Caterpillar Foundation investments. Prior to joining the Caterpillar Foundation team in 2012, Christa spent nearly two years in Haiti assisting with post-earthquake relief and development efforts.  As a Communications Officer for BRAC and a long-term volunteer with All Hands Volunteers, she partnered with community-based organizations, government officials, international NGOs and other key stakeholders to implement disaster response, livelihood, education and housing programs throughout the country.  Christa holds a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia, studied abroad at La Universidad del Sagrado Corazon in Santurce, Puerto Rico and speaks Haitian Creole.  She holds certifications in Nonprofit Management & Leadership from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and in Marketing Research Methodology and Applications from teh AC Nielsen Burke Institute.

christa@haitischolarships.org

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Abby Oliva was first drawn to Haiti in 2010 when she volunteered with All Hands following the devastating earthquake on January 12th. That trip opened her eyes to all of the beauty and strength that Haiti possesses and filled her heart with the desire to see every child get the education that they deserve. A student herself, she understands the importance of financial aid to reach your scholastic goals, and believes that any hardworking student is worthy of that help, no matter who or where they are. In her free time, you can find her running, drawing, writing for Scout Folks, and seeking out adventure in Southern California.

abby@haitischolarships.org

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As an Egyptian who immigrated to the United States, John Thomas benefited greatly from  the opportunities of education. Through financial aid and work-study jobs, he graduated from Boston College in 2012.  John bought into the mission and vision of Haiti Scholarships and views education as one of the vehicles of upward social mobility. Through scholarships, students can be placed in an opportunity to flourish they would otherwise not have access to. He assisted with budget planning at Root Capital, a social investment fund operating in poor rural areas of Africa and Latin America.   John also volunteered and taught summer school in mountain villages in Jamaica as well as with his church’s youth in Anaheim, CA. Other hobbies include reading, traveling, working out, and listening to podcasts. John is currently a strategy analyst at Bank of America.

 

Employees & Interns

Berlyne Bien-Aime is our only official employee, and she lives in Leogane, Haiti, with her husband, Guito, and her beautiful son, Moony.  Most of our Board members met Berlyne in Haiti with All Hands Volunteers, as she was one of their official translators (she has also translated for Duke University, Oxford University, and International Medical Relief).  Berlyne also has worked as a facilitator, fixer, team leader, and assessor for Haiti Kids Kino Project, All Hand Volunteers, and the International Organization for Migration.   She has also presented several seminars and workships within Leogane and its surrounding communities. Aside from currently working with Haiti Scholarships, Berlyne also works with GOALS Haiti by teaching children how to read and write, and teaching them how to manage stress through sports.  As if all of these professional accomplishments are not enough,Berlyne has a beautiful smile and contagious laughter which she now shares with our students during the monthly workshops that she organizes.  We are so lucky and excited to have her on our team!

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Alex Chen Profile Picture

Alex Chen is our marketing intern and he is currently studying for his undergraduate degree at the Pennsylvania State University at University Park, hoping to get a degree in Business. His passion for wanting to serve others was channeled with the Haiti Project that he participated in while at Penn State. Alex loves working and helping children, finding that serving children and others brings him an unspeakable joy that he would love to pursue through Haiti Scholarships. Having been to Haiti, Alex can’t wait for the day he can go and experience the country first-hand.