On July 2, 2017 more than 200 Haitian women graduated from the Heartline Women’s Education Center. We are overjoyed to congratulate each of these women and share a few favorite moments from this year’s ceremony.

“Light in my heart, something true. Something that nothing can extinguish – neither failure, nor fear, nor the weight of years. You alone can guide me.”

As graduates joined their voices to sing these words, a lit candle was carefully passed down the aisle and onto the stage. The flame signified the light of knowledge and education. A beloved professor urged the women to not only keep this flame alive and burning within themselves, but to also pass it on – to spread light to their families, communities, and country. We know without a shadow of a doubt that these women will continue to share light and love wherever they may go.

As Felinda received her certificate, she flashed this incredible smile. Thanks to the generosity of Heartline supporters, Felinda received a full scholarship to attend the commercial baking class this year. She has already started her own business and has clients lined up asking for her delicious cream puffs and other treats. She hopes to return to the Women’s Education Center next school year to expand her skillset in the cake decorating class. Felinda thought the entire graduation day was perfect, she felt deeply loved and very proud. Her favorite part of the ceremony was seeing her mom in the crowd and having the opportunity to celebrate this day with her.

As graduates crossed the stage to receive their certificates, professors took several moments to congratulate each one for their individual accomplishments (and share a few funny anecdotes about the student!). Seeing every woman appreciated for her unique gifts and personality gave everyone a glimpse into the unbreakable bonds, friendships, and community built at the Women’s Education Center.

The skills and talents of students at the WEC are undeniable. It was amazing to see the graduates’ work on display as women modeled clothing they designed, sewed, and crocheted. The only thing that rivaled the beauty of the outfits was the look of pride radiating from each woman’s face.

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More than 400 family members and friends attended the graduation! Excitement and joy filled the room as family members cheered for their loved ones and enthusiastically congratulated all of graduates. We loved seeing everyone vie for the best photo opportunities to capture the special day!

Before graduation, we asked you to share a congratulatory message with the graduates. We were overwhelmed at the response we received. In preparation for graduation, professors read your messages to the students, who were blown away by your prayers, encouragement, and support. Your words were truly a beautiful gift.

In the face of enormous challenges, these women have displayed tremendous perseverance and courage. We simply can’t thank you enough for standing with women in Haiti as they work to break the cycle of poverty and create a more hopeful future for their families.

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