Julia Schifino: Teens for Haiti

This Saturday, September 27th at Academy, there will be a fundraiser held by Teens for Haiti. This fundraiser is a 13-hour dance that is trying to raise money for the people of St. Suzanne, Haiti. Senior Julia Schifino is involved in the fundraiser. She was a part of this mission trip to Haiti and answered some questions explaining what the fundraiser is all about.

Some of the children in St. Suzanne, Haiti
Julia Schifino
Some of the children in St. Suzanne, Haiti

What is the dance?
“This dance is a fundraiser held by Teens for Haiti. High school students register for the event, then they have to raise $100 in order to attend the event. The dance will start at 12:00 pm and will end at 1:00 am, every student who attends will receive 13-service hours.”

What’s the goal for this fundraiser?
“Our goal is to have the most amount of high schoolers that we can get in order to meet our $20,000 goal. We want to help build a yam farm for the people of St. Suzanne, Haiti.”

How do you get involved? Or is it too late?
It is definitely not too late! It is a very simple process. You can look on any social media that is titled Teens for Haiti and there is a link on almost every post that will take you directly to the website where you can register. After that, you have until the dance to raise $100 as your entry fee.

What can people expect at the event?

“Well I can’t give you any details (because it is technically supposed to be a surprise), but the students can expect thirteen hours of activity! There will be a ton of games, dancing, music, and lots of food!”

One of the happy children from St. Suzanne, Haiti
Julia Schifino
One of the happy children from St. Suzanne, Haiti

When did you first go to Haiti?
“My first trip to Haiti was during our mini-course week in March 2014.”

Why do you feel so connected to this mission trip?
“I was extremely interested in this trip because I wanted to meet new people and have a new experience. I think the mission trips at Academy are great, but I don’t believe in having to “apply” to be a part of a mission trip. I don’t think anyone should be denied the right to help others, and that’s what made Haiti stand out to me. I would be able to spend ten days with people I have never met, travel to a place I never pictured myself going to, and meet the life changing people of St. Suzanne, Haiti.”

How did you get involved on going to Haiti?
“My uncle is a very active member of Christ the King and knows all about their mission trips. He must have told my mom, because one day she just came home and asked if I wanted to to to Haiti! After the initial shock and confusion, I was extremely excited and couldn’t wait to go.”

What was the overall experience like in Haiti? What did you do while you were there?
“At first when you land, you are filled with excitement and enthusiasm because you can’t wait to meet the villagers and spend a week helping others. Then after about two hours, we were all in shock. It was nothing like what we were used to. People barely had any clothes, water, food, or homes. I didn’t think it was possible to live in conditions like this, but the Haitians managed to do it. The most amazing part was learning their experience, which happened about two days after when I realize that these were some of the happiest and nicest people I would meet. Even when these people were starving and hadn’t had water in a week, they would offer you anything they had. By the end of the trip I was completely inspired. I gained appreciation for all the things I am blessed with; I don’t take things for granted.”