In continuation of the Haitian Youth Action program, HWHR has begun advising young Haitian American immigrants who are eager to continue post-secondary education and show academic promise, but experience difficulty with college expenses because they are not eligible for state-sponsored financial aid. These scholars and their relatives have raised the issue in among ESL classes and campaign meetings, and have expressed the importance of building a strong advocacy network in order to encourage other immigrants to pursue education after high school.
There are a number of scholarships designed to provide financial assistance to these very cases, but most are geared towards migrant students of Latino/Latina descent. These scholarships are often not designed to accommodate different ethnicities or places of origin, even though the definition of Latino/Latino includes all people with genealogical origins in the countries of Latin America and Spain. While Haitian-Americans are technically eligible for many of the scholarships, the descendants of Latin American ancestries who speak languages
other than Spanish are often excluded from the discourse on Latin American immigration rights. Our recent high school graduates have begun applying for these scholarships, attempting to broaden the discourse surrounding the rights of immigrants from underrepresented populations.
These students have already begun to realize their capacity to affect change as representatives of young immigrants across cultures. They have reached out to community networks to raise awareness, and even visited local politicians to seek accountability and guidance. As was proven successful during the HRIFA and HWP campaigns, it is important for HWHR to reach out to other cultural organizations that are dedicated to supporting the academic potential of young immigrants, in order to promote the campaign for comprehensive immigration
reform. By providing assistance in scholarship applications, and launching advocacy initiatives, HWHR hopes to embolden the next generation of Haitian-Americans to seek better opportunities for higher education and instill hope for their future as scholars.