A picture is worth a thousand words but we cannot say enough about the character of the people we have grown to know and love.
Maurice is a hero. This married father of three inspired the creation of No.2 Pencils through his commitment to continue his fathers legacy at Ecole St. Joseph in Petit Goave, Haiti. Working nights as the executive chef at a five star restaurant and days with his chidlhood friend, Jean Cayemitte as security guards at New Trier High School in Winnetka, IL, together these fine men have supported the school for over 30 years funding teacher salaries and tuition for more than150 students.
Ralph is a student at St. Joseph that Cody especially enjoyed meeting when he went to Haiti following his high school graduation. The genuine warmth of the Haitian people and Cody's easygoing kindness were a perfect match. As soon as he heard that his mom, Valerie, was asked to join a team andcreate an art project at the school his first words were, " I want to go with mom and help the kids. I want to do something significant before I go to college."
This beautiful boy wearing the OnStage shirt represents 1300 pounds of relief supplies that American Airlines allowed our team to bring to Haiti for earthquake relief. OnStage, Hersey High School's show choir donated time, money and a bunch of shirts. No.2 Pencils is grateful for the Hersey Choir Departments support in rebuilding Ecole St. Joseph.
Beautiful, tiny Josemie graciously posed for a quick sketch portrait that was a gift for her mother Jocelyn, an incredible St. Joseph teacher. Josemie, like all of the other Haitian students, and just like American kids, dream about what they want to be when they grow up.
Carina, her sister Cassidy, their mom Carolyn and their uncle Nate as well as a group of teachers from New Trier High School were all a part of the team that helped run the summer camp and teacher training that we a part of in the summer of 2010. A couple of very well traveled girls, Carina and Cassidy have enjoyed the privilege of serving on mission trips all around the world. Their love and compassion showed as they played with the children of Petit Goave. They are truly wonderful young women.
Yrlanda's story broke our hearts. This courageous, graceful 12 year old allowed Maurice to interview so we could all hear her story. On January 12, 2010 Yrlanda's grandmother sent her down the mountain to town to buy some rice. As she was walking the earthquake hit, bringing her house down and burying her grandmother in the rubble. As hard as they tried, Yrlanda and her mother couldn't save her. Now, like many Haitians after the quake, Yrlanda's family still lives in a tent.