Westminster Christian School senior Noor Reyes fled Haiti because of the 2010 earthquake that devastated the capitol city.
“I was living in Port-au-Prince. It was so bad,” she says. “I left after the earthquake. On Jan. 13 in the afternoon, we left to the Dominican Republic. There was limited food and water. It was rough.”
The family spent some time in the Dominican Republic before moving to Miami.
“The country is still in a very bad state,” she says. “A lot of people here don’t know what is happening over there. I want to spread awareness about the situation in Haiti. It’s tragic that this country, it’s not getting any better.”
Reyes says the people of Haiti don’t have hope.
“We want to show the inhabitants there are people on the other side of the world who care about them,” she says. “I do try to interact with the Haitians living there to show that we are here for them. Just a conversation with them, they might have a totally different perspective. I think it can change their lives.”
Last year, Reyes created the Sow a Seed Club at Westminster. The parent club is based in Haiti. She asked if she could create a club at school.
“It’s a non-profit volunteer-based organization,” she said. “Their mission is to bring hope, reduce hardship and promote sustainable change in the lives of improvised children placing a special focus on orphans in the Caribbean.”
The club allows her to help Haiti because she can’t volunteer when she is visiting her country because of the government’s instability.
The club did multiple events to raise money last year.
“We sold hot chocolate and donuts,” she says. “In October, November and December we sold them in the mornings.”
For Valentine’s Day they sold roses. The events raised $600. The proceeds purchased a month’s worth of food and hygiene products for 75 children at the Maison Des Anges Orphanage.
“This year we are focusing on having more volunteers and doing more around the community,” she says.
The fundraising goal this year is $620. They are currently working on their Rose to Your Valentine project again this year and hope to do a drive to collect Easter Eggs with candy to send to Haiti in time for Easter.
She hopes to continue the club in college.
She’s not sure where she’s attending college yet. She’s applied to schools in Boston, California and Washington D.C. She applied as a biology major.
“I’m interested in pediatrics,” she says. “I’ve taken many science courses. I’m thinking I would go back to Haiti to use that and help where ever I can.”
Reyes is a member of the Science National Honor Society, the National Honor Society, National English Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Ro Kappa and she is a cheerleader.
She’s a Peer Counselor who helps anyone who needs someone to listen to them or needs advice.
“Maybe you are going through a hard time, maybe your parents are getting divorced, or you just failed a test, anything that would create stress,” she says. “This is a resource that will make them feel heard. Someone who will listen to them.”
She enjoys working as a Peer Counselor.
“It’s taught me a lot of things for myself,” she says. “Like how to cope with stress or the right words to use when expressing your emotions.
Reyes is a member of the Leadership Council. The council plans activities for the school, including activities such as Warrior Week.
Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld