It's All in the Family

Jean Roger Polidor (LCS '06), age 14 in his first year at LCS; Polidor with his wife, Louise Maryse (LCS '06), and their son, Clarens Emmanuel; Polidor hard at work on behalf of the Office of External Affairs.

From the moment Jean Roger Polidor set foot on the campus of Louverture Cleary School (LCS), a tuition-free secondary boarding school located just outside of Port-au-Prince owned and operated by The Haitian Project (THP), he understood the value of the LCS community.  Now serving as the director of THP’s Office of External Affairs (OEA), Polidor still says, “Louverture Cleary School is a family.”

Community life at LCS taught Polidor the importance of what he calls, “stewardship,” one’s responsibility to care for the resources given to us.  This includes caring for others.  As a student, Polidor volunteered with the Missionaries of Charity in Port-au-Prince.  He also participated in Ekòl Ankourajman (LCS’s after-school literacy program for children and adults from the school’s immediate community) and served as Super Guide (student body president) in his final year at LCS. He took his role as Super Guide very seriously, always taking time to help the younger students to keep up with LCS’s demanding language program. Polidor’s fluency in English, his third language, is striking.

After graduating from LCS in 2006, Polidor hoped to attend university, but could not recruit the necessary funds right away. After a year of informal study, with the help of his parents and the OEA, Polidor enrolled in the Université Américaine des Sciences Modernes d’Haïti in 2007. There he studied business management for four years. Now in the final stages of his thesis, Polidor expects to be fully licensed by summer 2014.

Before Polidor became the director of the OEA, he was a client of the job development program. The OEA supported Polidor by helping him secure his first job with Haiti International Traders. Polidor started out in register sales before becoming a stock manager, overseeing the inventory of bags of sugar, rice and oil. He eventually found his niche in sales.  He recalls customers commenting on his exceptional way with words.

In October of 2011, Polidor came home to LCS and put his talents to work for the OEA. After serving as the OEA's accountant for a year, Polidor became the director of the office in 2012. He now provides the same services that launched his own career to other LCS graduates.

Maintaining the job development program, Polidor explains, requires constantly keeping in touch with the local business community and organizations like Croix-Rouge (the French Red Cross) and Catholic Relief Services, both of which employ a number of LCS alumni. As the director of the OEA, Polidor’s responsibilities also include overseeing 70 plus university scholarships for graduates and drumming up local support.

To garner local support, Polidor works with local businesses to encourage in-kind and financial contributions to LCS. These days, in-kind support includes donations of gas, coffee and sugar, cleaning supplies, and pasta.

As Director of the OEA, Polidor is also responsible for providing academic and career counseling to all LCS alumni, who are typically the first in their families to pursue higher education.

LCS has truly become Polidor’s family. In 2010 Polidor married fellow LCS graduate, Louise Maryse and in August 2012 they welcomed the first new member of their family, their son Clarens. Polidor is working hard to ensure that the students' involvement with LCS is not only a seven-year privilege, but a lifelong honor.

***

Please help us continue to provide opportunities to more young men and women in Haiti and click the donate button below. Please especially forward this story to friends and family today. If just 20 people donate $70 it will provide an entire year of education to one of our students and help us meet our funding goals for the year.

The Haitian Project, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that runs a tuition free Catholic boarding school in Haiti for 360 students in order to nurture the future leaders of the country.  Visit their website www.haitianproject.org for more information or donate now.