In 2014, seven very special students walked across the stage at Madonna University’s graduation ceremony. “The 7”, as they call themselves, were the first graduates of the university’s Haitian Education Leadership Program, and they were receiving their bachelor’s degrees in business administration.
When the 2010 earthquake devastated Haiti, former Madonna University president Sister Rose Marie Kujawa gathered a group of Felician Sisters to visit Haiti to assess the needs of the people, and as a result, in August 2011, the Madonna Business School launched the Haitian Education Leadership Program, a three-year online bachelor’s degree program in business administration.
With the support of the Felician Sisters of North America and through a partnership with HaitiTec, a two-year postsecondary educational institution located in Port-au-Prince, the university sponsors a cohort of students each year. In addition to their academic curriculum, students have access to internship experiences that may open doors to a higher level of employment and strengthen their career tracks. They are also instilled with an understanding of the importance of philanthropy, international health standards, and national infrastructure.
The goal of the program is to empower Haitians by offering them opportunities for education, mentorship, and professional experience, in the hope of creating leaders who are prepared to establish small businesses, improve the delivery of education, raise the standards of living for families, and improve the delivery of health and other essential services, all of which will profoundly impact and improve the lives of Haitian citizens.
Since its inception in 2011, 62 students have graduated from Madonna’s Haitian distance-learning program. There are currently 72 students across three cohorts; 30 of those are anticipating graduating in May 2021.
As the program grows, it continues to evolve to meet the needs of Haitian students. English as a second language, leadership training, and a community volunteer project have recently been added. The result is an ever-growing list of Madonna alumni located in Haiti who are rebuilding their country.
If you would like to make a gift in support of the Haitian Education Leadership Program, click here. If you would like more information about how to support this program or any of the programs at Felician Mission: Haiti, please contact Marcia Wallander, Director of Development, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-944-9814.
Madonna University is a ministry of the Felician Sisters of North America in Livonia, Michigan. Founded by the Felician Sisters in 1937, Madonna is one of the nation's largest Franciscan universities with a combined undergraduate and graduate student body of approximately 3,000 students. To learn more, visit their website at www.madonna.edu.