Graduation Remarks – Harvard Bound

Le Flambeau Foundation scholar Rachelle Mathurin graduated from Berea College on May 8th 2011, with honors. Noted as being one of the brightest students to attend Berea by one of her professors, Rachelle is now headed to Harvard University Graduate School of Education as she continues her educational journey for Haiti. Following are Rachelle’s words.


My name is Rachelle Mathurin. I am from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, a place where attending college, especially abroad, is but a dream, one that you’ll soon wake up from and find out that your social reality is much tougher than you think. However, I believe in fairytales, both those that come as life’s sweet surprises, and those that you work to see them come to pass. After I graduated from high school at the age of 15, it took me seven years to attend college. Thus, In 2007, I heard about Le Flambeau Foundation , and they worked with me each step of the way to get a scholarship from Berea College. At Berea, I majored in Education Studies, and did a double minor in Peace & Social Justice and Communication. Subsequently, in March this year, I received my acceptance letter from the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE), to enroll in the International Education Policy master’s program.

After my graduation at Harvard, I plan to return to my homeland, and work in the field of education reform. Through the HGSE program, I hope to learn about how social structures and policies affect children’s learning. Teachers and educators need to consider the “invisible backpack” that children bring with them to class; which is made of their backgrounds, their socio-economic conditions, and their home life, all of which are shaped by structural violence in most developing countries. As long as we keep ignoring those crucial factors, we will keep perpetuating the marginalization of some children, and classify them as “slower,” while many of them have the potential to be among the fastest this world has ever known. I believe that education should be considered as a basic need and right, as much as food and clean water should be. Every child should have the right to aspire to a quality education; each and every one of them deserves this “dream come true”.

By Rachelle Mathurin, as submitted on May 11, 2011.

More graduation pictures  – Berea College ,  Graduation Reception in Miami