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LCS Class of 2012
“...Teach people to fish and share their catch, and you will feed the world.” - “A Louverture Cleary education can change a life, and through that life, a thousand more.”
A Full Plate
On-campus responsibility prepares Philo class of 2012 for outside leadership
By Rachel Carter
A Philo (senior) student’s day begins when the first bell rings at 5am. After a quick shower, at whatever the ambient temperature is at the time, or colder if the water is fresh from the well, Philo class members begin their leadership responsibilities by waking up younger students and their groups for morning meeting at 5:30am.
When the bell rings at 6am for breakfast, the Philo students, or “Guides,” in charge of the kitchen must make sure that breakfast is ready on time, that the line through the door is orderly with everyone washing their hands before eating, and that everyone gets a plate. After breakfast, it is the Philo students’ responsibility to make sure that the kitchen is spotless before first period at 7am.
Responsibility: a Philo student has more than any other student on campus. The role a Philo student plays is crucial to the success of the LCS program. Their leadership role helps each class move seamlessly through the day, from the morning flag raising meeting, to lunch, to campus cleanup where Philo students are in charge of cleaning a specific area of campus, and then finally to study hour from 7pm to 9:30pm. Each classroom is monitored by at least two Philo students who help younger students with their homework and ensure that the study area stays reasonably quiet.
No Philo student understands this responsibility better than Peterson Jean, this year’s “Super Guide.” “I give advice to the other Guides and Monitors (Rheto, or 12th Grade, students),” he says, “and make sure the cleanup jobs are done well.”
Although Peterson plans to study computer science after he graduates, he believes in the physical labor component of the LCS education. “At most schools you do not do this kind of labor,” he says. “But having the physical experience of building a wall is important in changing the mentality of this country.”
John DiTillo, LCS Dean of Students, highlights the extraordinary changes an LCS student undergoes by learning to complete the most mundane of daily chores. “Today’s cleanup leader is tomorrow’s engineer, perhaps the one who will design better roads and waste management systems to help keep the capital clean,” says DiTillo.
As rigorous as life at LCS can be, the community provides a singular experience that Philo students fully appreciate as they near the end. Cassandra Turin, a member of the Medical Club, explains. “When we leave campus to translate (for doctors at a local clinic), we see students late for school because they are waiting for a tap-tap (share taxi),” she says. “We don’t have to worry about that here. We eat three times per day, the teachers are reliable and give us a good education, and we learn discipline, which keeps us tight. When we go out, people can see the difference in us.”
THP President Deacon Patrick Moynihan highlights the “loaves and fishes” quality of the accomplishments of this year’s graduates.
“While others struggle to make even a little progress with huge resources, LCS students this year re-built buildings, taught others how to read and cleaned and re-cleaned the neighborhood,” Deacon Moynihan says. “They also passed their exams, led their fellow students and prepared for the national exam. I am confident that this Philo class will continue to do much with little long into the future."
Each Philo student has his or her own career dream for life after LCS. But they all agree that what Haiti really needs now is leadership. The responsibility our graduates learn and put into practice prepares them to become the future leaders of Haiti.