***This young woman, Sophie, has been adopted by WIT partner Christine Bongard who is spearheading her fundraising efforts.***

Name: Sophie O.
Big Goal: To be an advocate for children by owning and operating an orphanage
Big Obstacle: Lack of funding and access to current technology
What Sophie Needs: Mentoring, assistance with tuition and a personal computer to help her through university

Sophie is an 18-year-old student, living with her father and sister in Haiti. The people of this earthquake- and hurricane-ravished country have been attempting to rebuild their lives for years, earning on average less than $4 dollars daily, if they’re fortunate enough to be employed. With Sophie’s mother passing away when she was just 16, her father has been burning the candle at both ends to earn enough money to keep Sophie in school.

Sophie has now completed high school and has her sights set on studying law and international relations. For this part of her studies, she is desperately in need of technology. It will open up the world to her, allowing her to access the materials and people she’ll need to help her succeed. Her 3- to 5-year goal is to complete university on her way to one day owning an orphanage. She will never forget her mother’s biggest hope for her: that someday she would accomplish more than her mother and go on to do something special in this world. With her mother’s words forever ingrained on her mind, this 18-year-old has grown into a young woman of purpose and integrity. With a devout “do it yourself” mentality, Sophie is not afraid of hard work and has always been determined to pave her own way in this challenging world. Unfortunately, determination and reality aren’t always the same destination.

We asked about what drives her passion, and this is what Sophie said: “When I think about success, I see myself as an advocate for the children. I envision one day owning an orphanage, focusing on helping homeless children who need guidance and support so they can grow up to help others like themselves. Success for me is not about having money; it is giving these children reasons to be grateful in their life.”

Already a volunteer at Sow a Seed (an organization of volunteers working with orphanages in the Caribbean), Sophie is learning first-hand the necessary skills required to oversee the day-to-day operations of an orphanage. Most teenagers around the globe have the freedom to simply “hang out” with friends or waste several hours a day on their personal electronic devices. And then there is Sophie – selflessly giving her time, love and affection to ensure that the community that she loves will be a better place for the children of tomorrow. Wouldn’t this world be a marvellous place if all young adults gave so much of their hearts?

by Geordie Seed