Six years ago, in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that killed hundreds of thousands and left 1.5 million people living in tents, we committed with our incredible partners the St. Luke Foundation to build the Academy for Peace and Justice. The vision: to build a free high school for the very poor. And what a school it has become! Thanks to the St. Luke team’s commitment and hard work we now have a school with 2,600 students on full scholarships.
Last weekend, we celebrated a major milestone at the school: friends and supporters from around the world who have made our work possible came to Haiti to celebrate the first ever graduation! Special guests included Susan Sarandon, Ben Stiller, Christine Taylor, Donna Karan and Maria Bello. Our hearts are full of pride for these students, respect for the St. Luke team, and immense gratitude to everyone who has been on this journey with us.
We also celebrated the opening of our newest wing at the Academy for Peace and Justice, built in partnership with Carlo Traglio, Ben Stiller & Christine Taylor, and RTL Foundation. Wing IV is home to a new art program along with all future graduating classes. The students that received their diplomas on Sunday spent the past year studying in this beautiful new building. At the ceremony, Ben Stiller said, “I am just amazed every time I come here. There is always so much more that exists and that really is a credit to all of those involved in the organization. The people here are working so hard and really have a desire to create something that lasts. It’s just an incredible spirit that gets translated into reality.” Thank you to all for your commitment to turning this dream into a reality!
We are so grateful for the continued support of our partners Bovet 1822, Vhernier and Brioni, without whom this day wouldn’t have been possible.
This school rose from the rubble and now it’s first graduates are emerging as young leaders who want to make a better future for their country. Congratulations, Class of 2016! We can’t wait to see where you go from here!