Palmer Trinity senior Koraly Joseph is involved in a school club, the Haiti Partnership Program, that is geared to helping Haiti.
“Since I’m from Haiti, I work with her,” Joseph says. “We meet once a week. Once a year there is a trip to Haiti. Unfortunately, I couldn’t go last year. My friend went. They said they stayed in a small rural area.”
The club collected clothing, hygiene products and canned goods. Plans have been in the works for a return trip.
“I think we are going to do the same thing as last year,” she says. “Make friends with the orphans and give them the clothes we packed for them.”
The club sponsors bake sales and the money raised goes toward building schools in the island nation.
“My dad always tells me to try and help Haiti. I go there a lot because my dad lives there,” she says. “Every time I see someone helping Haiti, I try to get involved.”
She says her father has a lot of people working for him and he tries to help them, going as far as paying for the education of some of the children of his employees. She and her twin, Kristy, give clothes they outgrow to their dad, who passes them on to those in need. Along with her work for Haiti, Joseph is a member of the Best Buddies club. This is her first year in the organization.
“For Best Buddies, once in a while we will have formal balls and little cute stuff,” she says. “We will have parties. For Halloween we had a trick-or-treat party and everyone came dressed up and we served them candy.”
She has a buddy that she works with directly.
“He’s very shy, but I got to get to know him,” she says. “He kind of opened up to me. I want to get to know him so he can text me. I want to form a great relationship with him. He comes from a rough family; he’s 13-14.”
She likes being in the club because it gives her a chance to give back to the community.
“I was blessed to be raised in such a great family,” she says. “It feels great to be able to talk to him when there is nobody else.”
Joseph is also a member of the Feels Like Home Club. Members help families make their way from homelessness and to gaining their own home.
“We collected canned goods and house products, like cleaning products for the house,” she says.
She went to help the family at one house.
“It broke my heart,” she says. “At Palmer, we’re used to seeing large houses and people getting what they want. They had four kids and one bedroom. When I walked in, I saw the mats where they slept. Seeing this family share one room, it was horrible. It was hard.”
Next year, Joseph will be studying hospitality management in college. She became interested in hotel management while on a travel volleyball team.
“My uncle owns a lot of hotels in the Virgin Islands,” she says. “He says he’s going to take me there to see how the business works.”
— By Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld