Last year, Coral Gables High senior Eleonor Bauwens worked with three friends on a project called Vision for Haiti. The girls collected used eyeglasses they hope to distribute soon to needy Haitians. Their plans to go to Haiti have been put on hold by the Haitian election unrest.
“Our hosts, didn’t want to have for us to be in danger because there are elections going on,” she said. “We are going to go closer to March.”
Bauwens said they collected more than 1,000 pairs of glasses. They might have collected more because of the delay in distribution, but decided against that because of the logistics in getting the glasses to Haiti.
Bauwens plans to continue to help Haiti even when she goes to college. Right now, she still has not decided on a college. She is considering small liberal arts colleges such as the University of Vermont as well as Louis and Clark.
“I don’t have a dream school. All the schools I applied to I’d be happy at,” she said. “I believe I will end up where I was meant to.”
She wants to study environmental studies and international relations.
“I want to work with sustainable development in third world countries,” she said. “Studying international relations would allow me to learn language and cultures in the country. Those are key to being able to work with people to build things and to respect their culture.”
At Gables, Bauwens ran on the varsity cross country team and writes for the school paper.
“When I first started I stuck to news. But I’ve branched out. I’ve written for every section and currently I’ve been writing for features,” she said.
She also is president of the journalism honor society, Quill and Scroll.
Her interest in environmental issues was heightened by the month she spent at the Island School on Eleuthera in the Bahamas. There she took courses in marine ecology and sustainable development.
Outside of school, Bauwens is vice president of Twenty Little Working Girls.