IRSC students participate in capstone project at Haiti Partners

 In Children's Academy, Quality Schools Program, Volunteering

Education is our focus at Haiti Partners. So when we were approached last winter by Indian River State College’s School of Business Professor, Dr. Herbert Ricardo, to participate in a Capstone Project, we were very excited to join forces. The Capstone Project is the final project that business majors must complete in order to graduate with a business degree.

Donna presents at IRSC

We were excited to meet our team of three: Caitlyn Shaw, Donna Emmett, and Miranda Sanchez. All three are seeking a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Management. They worked as our “consultants,” considered Haiti Partners their “clients,” and together we determined a project best suited for all of us. The focus was on developing volunteer recruitment material as well as to come up with marketing ideas for our Haitian handmade paper greeting cards.

These beautiful cards are made at Haiti Partners Children’s Academy in the mountains just south of Port au Prince. Parents of students and other community members make the cards from 100% natural fibers. In addition to creating a product that community members take pride in, these cards are also helping to generate revenue for the school and awareness about Haiti Partners work. This social business is a great way to nurture a “can-do” entrepreneurial spirit among students and their families.

As a team, the Capstone participants realized it would be beneficial to travel to Haiti to see precisely how they could assist us. Donna Emmett joined Merline on a trip to Haiti where she delved into the paper making process and learned firsthand the time and labor involved in our Paper Making Social Business.

Caitlin and Donna presenting at IRSC

In preparation for our annual fundraiser, “Educate and Celebrate,” Donna, Caitlyn, and Miranda developed surveys, slide shows, and a volunteer recruitment brochure that was included in the “Entrepreneurial/Social Business” display at the event.   The idea was to determine what cards are most popular, what people found pleasing about them, and to gather suggestions to improve the cards. A slide show of Donna’s trip was shown and the students engaged with guests sharing about their experiences, taking photographs and gathering information.

The team then took the information they had gathered, analyzed it and put together a presentation with suggestions and recommendations. This was presented to the Haiti Partners team on April 16th. “We are very impressed with the outcome of the partnership between Haiti Partners and the Capstone Participants” said John Engle. “We find this to be a great local partnership and hope to work with IRSC Capstone Participants again in the future.”.

We at Haiti Partners are grateful to Dr. Herb Ricardo, Miranda, Caitlyn, and Donna for their great teamwork and dedication to Haiti Partners and wish them well in their future endeavors.

Left to right: Miranda Sanchez, Caitlyn Shaw, Donna Emmett, and Dr. Herbert Ricardo

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