APPROACH AND METHODOLOGY
HELP selects straight-A high school students from across Haiti's 10 departments, using transcripts and test scores to measure academic performance and the family's financial resources to measure need. HELP students, all of whom are from impoverished backgrounds (most cannot afford the bus fare to school or lunch) are given the guidance and tools to fulfill their potential, earn a university degree and contribute essential skills to Haiti's development. The annual cost of a full scholarship is ,500 which provides: tuition at internationally accredited universities in Haiti, books, housing, food and living expenses, classes in leadership, English language and computer literacy, student advising, career counseling and a study center including a library and computer lab.
HELP graduates have 100% employment rate in Haiti and an average annual salary of ,000. Upon graduation and employment, alumni will contribute approximately 15% of their income over eight years, to a revolving fund, building future scholarship funding which we estimate will be self-sustainable after 10 years.
An example of HELP's impact is found in a recent graduate, Dany Selme. The daughter of an illiterate washerwoman, growing up Dany often went hungry and walked miles to school and back. Despite these hardships, she was #1 in her high school class and won a HELP scholarship. Dany earned her Bachelor of Science in economics in 2009 and was hired as a sales analyst for a cellular provider in Haiti where she now earns ,000 per year. Dany's path from poverty to prosperity indicates that investing in the Alumni Contribution Model will allow HELP to expand sustainably, supporting an ever increasing number of deserving students in university, expanding Haiti's educated class and building a solid foundation for Haiti's future.
IMPLEMENTATION, TIMELINE, AND DELIVERABLES
IMPLEMENTATION: HELP will accept 50 students from eligible candidates and provide them with holistic university scholarships for the 2010/2011 school year.
TIMELINE: September 2010 - July 2011
DELIVERABLES: From implementation to the end of the project, HELP will: 1) select 50 top students as scholarship recipients; 2) conduct orientation and enroll students; 3) provide tuition, books and supplies, housing, transport and living expenses; 5) Provide student services including advising, mentoring, classes in English, computer literacy and leadership; 6) Additionally, each student will have had regularly scheduled meetings with his/her advisor to track progress, review transcripts, and ensure that they maintain the required academic standard.
Two facts illustrate the critical need to increase access to higher education in Haiti:
According to the IMF, 84% of Haitians with a university degree live outside Haiti. This has created a massive 'brain drain' and an extreme lack of skilled professionals that was painfully evident in the aftermath of the January 2010, earthquake.
According to the Interamerican Development Bank, the illiteracy rate in Haiti is 50%; the primary school enrollment rate is 50%; for secondary schools only 20% and enrollment in university drops to only 1% of 18-24 year olds. Decades of political repression and instability in Haiti have created widespread poverty, making higher education inaccessible to the majority of qualified high school graduates.
These factors create the severe lack of doctors, engineers, architects, etc., that magnified the impact of the earthquake. HELP has spent over 10 years building its scholarship program from a single student to 150. Over 80% of HELP graduates remain in Haiti, reducing the 'brain drain' and rebuilding Haiti's professional class.