Senior Kerlande Mompremier is finishing her Ames High School career and fulfilling her continuous learning requirement from the island of Haiti. Over spring break, Mompremier traveled to Haiti to visit family and made the decision to remain there after schools in Iowa closed. She now works on her classes remotely and is giving back to the community through her volunteering and tutoring efforts.
All seniors are required to do Service Learning projects as part of their graduation requirements. Due to COVID-19, those requirements were waived by the Department of Education for this year, but that has not stopped Mompremier from fulfilling her hours. When in Ames, she worked a few hours at the Ames Public Library. She now spends her time volunteering and tutoring students in her family and neighborhood in Haiti. Her AP Government teacher, Kirstin Sullivan, shared this story with us and has characterized her as a top student who “always goes above and beyond.” In a reflection to Sullivan, Mompremier captured her volunteer efforts while also noting the many challenges that Haitians are facing:
I am in Haiti and everything is pretty much on lockdown here, too. School activities are canceled which is even more devastating as Haiti has been in a state of crisis the past two years. The kids have constantly had their school year interrupted by violence and chaos. I have a few cousins and neighbors who come over to our house all the time. I thought to myself if they are here, they might as well spend their time fruitfully. I started to tutor them and provide little opportunities, within my own capabilities, to learn. It was so much fun. I mostly helped them with math 1st-5th grade level, reading, and English. We also did crafts and P.E.-style activities. Although I couldn’t remedy the pain, depression, and hurt of this whole situation for these kids, at least I felt like I could brighten up the few hours that we had together and also keep them learning.