RISING Student Spotlight: Holnac

DECEMBER 2019

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By Joshua Gray Josh helps coordinate RISING in Carrefour, Haiti alongside a team of local staff and mentors, as well as EM's Mission Trip and IMMERSION programs in Haiti.

Like so many other young Haitians, Holnac is just trying to get by. With unemployment soaring and political turmoil currently crippling the country, opportunities are hard to come by, but Holnac is working hard in hopes of creating a better life for himself and his family.

He is the oldest of his mother’s 5 kids, and because she has been unemployed, they have struggled his entire life. A few years back things became so desperate that he had to move out of his mother’s house and go live with his neighbors. They were kind to him, and they even helped to pay for his school for a while, but they had to quit because they started struggling themselves. Much to his dismay, he had no choice but to drop out of school. This was discouraging, but there was little that he could do.

He was frustrated, yet he didn’t use that as an excuse to give up. Not being one to sit around, he learned to install ceramic tile, but even with this skill, he hasn’t been able to find much work. There are a lot of people who know how to install ceramic tile, but comparatively few are hiring.

Realizing that he needed another plan, he set his sights on high school graduation with the hope of eventually continuing on to study engineering. Thanks to a RISING scholarship, he was able to return to school and complete his sophomore year. Currently, Holnac is waiting for his next scholarship so that he can continue his studies, but in the meantime, he found a job at a small shop that sells propane and other miscellaneous commodities. He lives and works at this store, and he even makes laundry soap in his spare time so that he can earn a little extra money.

Unfortunately, Holnac like many young Haitians was dealt a poor hand in life, but he is not choosing to be defined by his circumstances. We’re honored to partner with hard-working young people like Holnac, as they seek to build a better future in spite of the many challenges that life has thrown their way.

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