By Kaysha Bucher, Interior Designer

One year ago, I submitted a proposal for HMC’s Xref travel fellowship to realize my long-awaited aspiration of making a difference. With a love for children and a dream in my heart to see schools built abroad, I took a leap of faith into an experience that has furthered my passion to see change across the world. For me, this leap started in Haiti. Now back in the states, I’m thankful and appreciative for this opportunity to travel and make a difference.

My last few days in Haiti were diligently spent working on construction documents for Lycee de Anacaona, the large high school site I had visited earlier in the week. This school is not only large in scale, but also a symbol of hope and progress for the city of Leogane. Jason, who is the primary architect working singularly on this job as well as ten schools currently in progress, was very grateful for the drafting support and team collaboration Alex and I had to offer.

Concluding my time in Haiti,  I was able to steal away on the back of a Haitian motorcycle for a tour through the quaint, back roads of Leogane. Franky, our translator and friend navigating the way,  pointed to a neighborhood outside of town that had not received any assistance after the earthquake. We agreed this was the opportunity I had been looking for to offer the three suitcases packed full of donations from HMC and friends. To us, what was given wouldn’t appear to be  of much value, yet the impact was overwhelming as children were jumping for markers, pens, and paper more than the toys.

Throughout the week, it was obvious that even seeing us there with plans for action sparked hope in the hearts of children, parents, and school directors in each community we visited. I have seen a need, not only to bring hope, but to change future generations in Haiti. The purpose of going on this trip was not simply to meet a need with what I have to give for eight days, but also what I have brought back and plan to continue that is important. As a volunteer, I was willing to give and work hard, yet the learning experience received through this trip was countless in its return as I grasped humility, compassion, perseverance, diligence and determination in a new way that I hope to inspire in my community.

Find a need, meet the need, inspire others.