By Pierre Richard Prevot, Member of the Mountaintop BAZ
“I will not accept this situation. I will fight until the end to liberate Haiti. We will fight with everyone who understands our circumstances until the very time that Haiti is wholly independent.” – Georges Sylvain
This is one quote that has always stuck with me. When I first learned about Georges Sylvain in literature class and read his writings and heard about everything that he did for our country, I was inspired. I took this quote and wrote it down on the top of my notebook so that everyday when taking notes I would see it and be reminded of why I am getting an education. To remind myself that our country needs people to fight for it and to do that we must be educated. I am currently in my final year of high school, but just as Sylvain said he would never stop, I too know that I will continue to fight for a better future for my country. This is why I hope to go on after I graduate and study in university so that I may one day become a judge, a diplomat, a university professor, or maybe even president of Haiti. I know that it is possible but I would have never imagined such a future if I had not been exposed to the example of such wise individuals as Sylvain in school. Learning of these writers and thinkers and leaders of Haitian history makes a young man like me want to be like them and make a difference like they did.
It is not easy, though, for me to believe in such possibilities. I am the oldest of my parents’ six children and this year will become the first of my family to graduate high school, God willing. Neither of my parents ever went to school. They worked hard and sacrificed for me and my siblings so that we may have the opportunity that they never had themselves. They are farmers who would have never imagined that they may have a son who would someday believe that he had what it takes to become president. But because they made sure that I got an education, I learned about how ordinary people can do extraordinary things when they set their hearts and their minds towards their goals. It is because of this that I understand the value of a good education.
But it is not easy for a young man in our society to see this value in learning. We are not ever told that we can be anything great. No, rather we are told that we are the source of our country’s problems. We are never told that we can be part of the solution. What are we to do? If we never have the chance to go to school and see those other possibilities and learn what other men have become, how are we ever supposed to believe in our own value? There are many young Haitian men who have not had the opportunity to learn these things and because of that it becomes difficult for us all. Those who don’t have an education remain directionless with a spirit of negativity to guide them. They have never learned anything except how to insult others and act like jerks. But those who go to school have the chance to absorb wisdom by learning of the wisdom of others. This doesn’t mean that every educated person is indeed wise, but it is difficult to become wise without an education.
Wisdom comes from always trying to improve yourself and always making an effort to reach for something higher. I am not saying that every young Haitian man needs to shoot for the presidency, but even a motorcycle taxi driver gains something by searching for wisdom. If you are sitting at the corner waiting for passengers, the wise driver will be having conversations with the other drivers that encourage and enrich others lives. That is so much better than being the jerk on the corner who harasses everyone he sees. Even though I am still young, I have seen the results that having an education can provide oneself. Today if I have a little money to buy some soap or toothpaste for myself it is because I am able to earn it by substitute teaching for elementary classes in my community. Without an education of my own, I would not be able to pass on an education for younger children either. Just as I have been inspired by the example of wise men who have gone before me, I want to be an inspiration to a child who sees wisdom in me.
This is why I am happy to be a part of the Mountaintop BAZ we are searching for ways so that we, the young men who are members of the BAZ, can all pursue more wisdom in our futures by furthering our educations, but we are also being examples for the next generation. At the same time that we are searching for support for ourselves, we are providing support for a group of children in our community too so that they can have a strong start to their own journey of education. We understand that in order to be role models, we must first educate ourselves.
I would ask that everyone would consider supporting us on this mission. Although we all agree that an education has immeasurable value, it is difficult for many of us to go to school because of a lack of financial support. We do not come from wealthy families and many of us have missed multiple years of school already because we are not able to afford it. And each year that we grow older, it becomes more difficult. Yet, if we have the help that we need to complete our schooling, the possibilities for us after that are endless. We are young men who are committed to using our educations to spark development and make a difference in the lives of others. And with that education, we can go far.
Someday, when I am president, I will invest in our country’s education system because it is so important and I want every child to know just how important it is. I will tell my own children what life holds for them and how an education can help them go through life with success and wisdom. Thank you for supporting us in this endeavor.
To find out more about our sponsorship opportunities at the Mountaintop BAZ to help our members continue their educations and follow a path towards wisdom, go this page for more information. Thank you!