Group visits Haiti to tour schools

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Haiti Scholarship
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A Grand Valley group returned from Haiti where members toured schools to learn more about that country's education system and identify possible partner schools for a scholarship program.

Peter Wampler, associate professor of geology, and Chris Hendree, associate director of admissions, and two students traveled to Haiti in March to talk with students and teachers about the Empowering Haiti through Education Fund.

Announced in January, the scholarship fund will help support rising stars from Haitian high schools to attend Grand Valley. Wampler said students were excited about the possibility of earning a scholarship but also a little gun-shy.

"I think they have listened to other people who have showed up with big ideas and promises that they have not kept, but we stressed to the students and teachers that we were in it for the long haul," Wampler said.

It was Hendree's first visit to Haiti. He said while the country continues to rebuild from the 2010 earthquake, the students were excited about their education and their futures. "They talked about after they get their degree they would return to Haiti to help make it a better place," he said.

Students Andrew Sisson and Jared Kohler also traveled to Haiti to conduct research and document the trip with photos and videos to support the scholarship program’s website, www.gvsu.edu/haiti. Wampler recently gave a presentation to a local Rotary club and said he would use the video in other community talks. Anyone interested in  scheduling a presentation about the scholarship program can send a request to wamplerp@gvsu.edu. 

To donate to the fund, visit www.gvsu.edu/giveonline.