William James College's Haiti Summer Immersion Program
In July 2014, ten William James College students participated in a summer immersion experience in Haiti, along with faculty members Dr. Gemima St. Louis, Dr. Jill Bloom, and Dr. Bruce Ecker. The Haiti Service Learning and Summer Immersion Program is a course offered through William James College, in partnership with the Haitian Mental Health Network. The course provides students with increased knowledge, skills, and experience in working with Haitian and Haitian-American individuals and families, and in becoming more skilled as practitioners to serve Haitian communities in the U.S. and Haiti. Students learn about the rich history of Haiti, its cultural belief systems and practices, and their impact on help-seeking behaviors among Haitian immigrants. Additionally, students travel for a week-long service learning and summer immersion experience in Haiti where they gain a deeper appreciation of the language, customs, and cultural practices of Haitian society. This summer, the group traveled to the Arcahaie region of Haiti where they volunteered and worked with youth at Hope on a String and Lycee Jean-Baptiste Pointe du Sable. They also conducted training on the impact of trauma on child and adolescent development at Child Flower Haiti and Centre de Formation Technique et Professionnelle.