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A Letter From Joe Jean – From the Rubble of Haiti

UoPeople provides education to disaster victims in Haiti


Dear President Reshef,

I am writing you to thank you, although a simple thank you cannot convey the overwhelming gratitude I feel. You changed my entire life.

I am emotional as I write this because I don’t know if you, or anyone, can really comprehend the position I was in three years ago, and how hard life was for me. Only then, can you grasp the magnitude of the impact UoPeople has made on me, and on my family.

In 2009, I was living under very different conditions back in Haiti. My family was too poor to afford college and I was constantly worried about my future. When the earthquake came we lost even the little we had. In late February 2010, during the intensely difficult post-earthquake time, I discovered that I could study for free online at University of the People. It all felt like a dream, too good to be true.

Not just someone, but a whole organization, cared about my future, and the futures of people like me. I applied to UoPeople because I knew that this education would be the only way out of the ruins surrounding me and the situation I was in. Yes, University of the People changed my life. Even more, thanks to the partnership UoPeople has with NYU, I became your first student, on a full scholarship, to be accepted to NYU Abu Dhabi, one of the most selective universities in the world. I know that anything is possible now! There aren’t enough words that can express my happiness and appreciation for what you have done for me.

I have been able to make a better life for myself because of UoPeople, and the chance this wonderful institution provided me – a poor guy from Haiti with nothing but the desire for a different life. But I’m not the only one; there are so many other young boys and girls like me whose life is being considerably changed – right now – or in the near future, through the education UoPeople is providing them. I only hope that the world listens to my story, and the stories of the other students, so that people are mobilized to support UoPeople for decades to come. What a changed world we will have.

Thank you so much.

From the bottom of my heart,

Joe Jean