The "After UGRAD" Effect: Haitian Alum Meschac Gervais

On August 13th, 2012, I embarked on the adventure that has changed my life completely: I officially started the UGRAD program. I landed on U.S. soil as a proud UGRADer from Haiti and attended the University of Southern Indiana, which rapidly became my second home. I focused my studies mainly on entrepreneurship and communication. One of my goals from the outset of my program was to encourage and train youth back in Haiti in Entrepreneurship. In fact, I went back home after the completion of the Global UGRAD program and I lectured to a group of about 30 youths. 5 Ugraders, top of St Louis ArchI was able to introduce them to the concept of Collective Entrepreneurship, which I believe should be the shift and focus for the next generation in Haiti. I have not been able to continue in this journey because I have left Haiti to pursue my graduate studies, but hope to do so upon completing my degree. I was accepted in the Masters of Public Administration program at USI, and got to return to my second home!

I have already completed a year in the program, and during this time, I was fortunate to win first place in a nationwide essay contest on the topic of how my international education will help me make a difference in the world. I am “anxiously excited” that I will be graduating in May 2015!

While completing my master’s, I have been given the position of community service coordinator at the International Office at USI. I got this job mainly because I had networked and was really involved in the community when I was in the UGRAD program. Community Service is a great way to develop a better understanding of culture and to know the community and the people where you are placed, but also a fantastic way to grow professionally. 10I believe this is one of many reasons why I encourage fellow UGRADers to really consider the community service requirements of the Global UGRAD program. The highlight of my work is the fact that I get to support all UGRADers that come to USI by organizing community service for them. I am so thankful to the stakeholders of the Global UGRAD Exchange Program but mainly to the team at World Learning that is doing such an amazing job in managing the UGRAD program for the benefit of young international students and leaders. I am very grateful that they had facilitated such a huge transition in my life and supported me to better myself along the way; I can’t wait to see what will come next!


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