MLWGS '09 Alum on Oprah

Danny Yates:  Post Earthquake in Port-Au-Prince
The I Have a Dream Foundation’s Hinche Scholars Project is pleased to announce that Danny C. Yates, a sophomore at the College of William and Mary, and 2009 MLWGS graduate has been selected to participate in a taping of the Oprah Winfrey Show that will air on Friday, November 19. Yates will be joined by Kenneth Henshaw, President of The I Have a Dream Foundation of Richmond. This honor comes in recognition of the organization’s efforts on behalf of several displaced Haitian university students whose hopes of higher education were shattered after the January 12 earthquake. Yates, who was in Haiti at the time of the tragic quake, was shocked by the indescribable level of catastrophic loss that he witnessed in Port-au-Prince where an estimated 300,000 Haitians died. As Haiti endeavors to “pick up the pieces,” and cope with continued threats from hurricanes, poverty, and disease, Yates and The I Have a Dream Foundation firmly believe that higher education will provide the only sustainable and successful path to recovery for this small Caribbean island nation.

The Hinche Scholars Project is a partnership between Barber-Scotia College, The I Have a Dream Foundation of Richmond and community leaders in the town of Hinche, Haiti which is located outside of Port-au-Prince. Initial funding to launch The Hinche Scholars program has been made possible through selfless donations from many individuals and groups, including Camp for the Cure and The Westbrook Foundation. The mission of our program is to aid the citizens of Haiti in rebuilding their nation through higher education. “By helping Haitian college students to continue their studies in the US, we hope to make a difference in the reconstruction of Haiti’s intellectual infrastructure,” states Yates.

Barber-Scotia is a small, historically black, Christian institution located just outside of Charlotte, North Carolina. Founded in 1867, B-SC is continuing with its original mission to educate the less fortunate by offering admission to Haitian university students. B-SC administrators are in the process of developing an ESL-intensive academic program which will also include courses in accounting, economics, environmental science, government and history. Currently the Hinche Scholars project is working to obtain visas, health insurance, and funding for the students.

In mid-October, two B-SC professors traveled to Hinche, Haiti for a month of ESL instruction. They are currently providing a 12-credit opportunity for the scholarship students. "We hope to welcome initial Hinche Scholars in the United States as soon as spring 2011, visas permitting,” says Henshaw.

 For more information, please visit the following websites or contact Danny directly: