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"As a volunteer, my dreams for the after-school program exceed our resources. We currently operate in a small, old building that is deteriorating daily. While the building diminishes, the size of our student count increases annually. I have experienced the positive impact the center has had in my life and academic career. The center provided me with everything from school supplies, computer and printing resources, college tours, academic support, to leadership training. I know my generation could not be the last to have access to such a blessing.”


“In order to ask for help in sponsoring the new building, I had to expose the poverty in our community and at our center. Our circumstances do not define us; they strengthen us. It was after I explained the needs of our center and our lack of resources that I became aware that I am a part of something that is bigger than me.”


“I am ecstatic about the plans for the construction of the new building to house the Development Center. Knowing that by sharing my story I am helping the upcoming generation of Haitian Americans have access to resources that will help them to succeed is gratifying.”


“I have seen the prideful grin on their tiny faces when they answer a math equation correctly after several attempts. I have heard the engulfing sound of joyful children at play. I have heard the powerful testimonies of adults who attended the program as a child. I have the conviction that this center and the community created by this center needs to be protected for many years to come." 

Marie Sintulaire, Florida State University Freshman

Won College Scholarships

“Coming from a farm-working family in Belle Glade, the Development Center taught me important life skills, such as leadership and character building. As a child, the Center was able to fill in many gaps in my life by creating a positive environment and great mentorship that shaped my adolescence. These life skills helped to prepare me for adulthood and my career as a professional football player for the San Francisco 49ers.”

Pierre Garcon, San Francisco 49ers Wide Receiver

“I was a student at the Center in kindergarten as an immigrant child. There, I had access to great mentors who helped me learn English and various life skills.  As I matured, I became more involved with the program, first as a student mentor, then as a student principal. I learned leadership, team building, and communication skills. I was then able to share these skills with younger students and watch them succeed as I did. This experience influenced me to go to college. My goal is to obtain a Masters in Social Work and return to Belle Glade to help my community.”

Rose Sintulaire, Family, Youth, and Community Science Student at University of Florida. 


“The First Haitian Baptist Church Youth & Children Development Center has been one of the cornerstones of my success; not only as a Marine, but as a man. This program prepared me for adulthood, while I was still a child. I was taught discipline, how to be a man of character, and how to always to be a hard worker.

Being raised in a very difficult environment in the “projects,” those key components helped me to live above this influence and ultimately helped me to make the decision to become a United States Marine.

 Sargeant Jimmy Saint Jean, United States Marine Corp.

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