Rachel Pierre ’01 is a consultant for the Bangladesh Rehabilitation Assistance Committee (BRAC) USA as a member of the Haiti Response Team and manager of education programs. BRAC seeks to alleviate poverty by empowering people to bring about change in their own lives. Here, she maps out the road from Wheaton to Haiti.
My father migrated from Haiti to the United States in 1964, right at the beginning of Papa Doc. At that time, he was in the middle of his studies in Port-au-Prince. Social conditions were quickly changing. So, he left for Puerto Rico. A year later, he was given U.S. residency and moved to Boston. In 1966, he went back to Haiti and married my mother. Fifteen years later, I was born. Our family lived in Sharon, Mass., Wheaton’s backyard, where I spent my youth.
My junior year in high school, my guidance counselor mentioned Wheaton as a prospective college among many. For me, Wheaton was the best fit. I fell in love with it just for its aesthetics, but I could also see that it was a place where I could spread my wings and take advantage of many opportunities.
I had planned to major in political science. I knew that I wanted to be involved in public service and community development. But I wasn’t clear on exactly how at the time. My friend and classmate Chad Pasha ’01 said he had just completed a great course with Professor of Political Science Darlene Boroviak and suggested that I should take it.