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Haitian student and earthquake survivor awarded scholarship to attend Lynn
Published Sep. 07, 2010
Lynn University saw an outpouring of kindness and generosity after the earthquake on Jan. 12, 2010 flattened parts Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and took the lives of two university professors and four students. In early February, Doug Briggs, and his wife Peggy, came to Lynn’s Office of Development wanting to assist a Haitian student whose education had been interrupted by the earthquake.
Lynn’s admission team worked with the U.S. State Department and the Haiti Embassy to identify a student from Haiti University who has the potential to be successful at Lynn. A student – Gwendoline (Gwen) Darguste – was identified, and the Briggs Family Haitian Scholarship was established.
Gwen, a 20-year-old freshman at Lynn majoring in international relations, started her classes last week. "There are less students in my classes here at Lynn," said Gwen when asked the differences between Lynn and her former university. In addition, "the teachers give you the freedom to think for yourself."
"I'm trying to adjust to the different language," said Gwen, "but I think I'll be able to succeed. Lynn is great, and the students are so nice. I'm especially excited about participating in Model U.N. I've never had the opportunity to do that."
She is the youngest of three children and her parents, Garnel and Josette Darguste, educated their first two children. Gwen was a great student at Quisqueya University, but on Jan. 12, she watched as her school crumbled to the ground.
“When this dark day came and took away almost everything, my parents and I were asking ourselves if really all those years of sacrifices and hard work were in vain?” wrote Gwen in a letter to Lynn University and the Briggs family. “A million times thank you for everything; you are giving me something most people in their lifetime don’t get to have: a chance to realize and live their dream.”
Marcheta Wright, a professor of international relations and Gwen’s academic advisor, said “Gwen is a wonderful addition to our student body. She clearly is excited about her classes and pursuing her degree in International Relations.”