Meet Victoria, Our Student Body President


Recently, we took the opportunity to do a Q&A with Victoria, the new student body president of The Joseph School. Get ready to feel inspired because you can watch her acceptance speech here! You can watch the video version of this interview here, but we have translated it for you to read below!


I ran for Student President because I would like to change some things at the school. I want to create a program where we can help the student body be more successful. We need more activities like soccer tournaments for the students and teachers or anything additional where we can learn from one another. As President, I would love for us to have a biology lab, chemistry and physics lab and a computer science lab; A place where we can practice from what we learn. As president I wish the school could have a place for us to play sports like tennis, basketball, volleyball, soccer and run track. Sports opportunities could help us have scholarships for university and it really helps us with our stress.



This means that every single person has the same rights, every single person has a voice and it matters. I am glad we have an opportunity to vote because that shows each voice has been heard. In that voting booth, there’s no one influence you so you just go in there and let them know who you think is best for the job.



I love my country; This is my homeland. My hope is that my country will change some day. We want stability where can be united as a nation, have security, and then we can have election. I am praying that our future president will be voted in by our people.



I would like to be a nurse. When I see someone hurting, it breaks my heart. I want to be an advocate in my community that takes care of my people and will also prevent them from getting sick. I will absolutely love being a nurse someday.

Dancing to the Beat of Our Own Drum (International Song and Dance Day)

“The beat of the drum resonates from the soul of the Haitian people and is expressed through movement. Haitian dance has its roots in Africa and tells stories of important life events, invokes spirits, and promotes fellowship among those in earshot of the sounds.”

Music is a unifying force across each culture and country around the world. This is no different in the diverse and vibrant country of Haiti!


The Kompa is a popular form of song and dance in Haiti, which originated, in part, from Spanish Meringue. “Kompa adopted its moniker from the Spanish word “compás,” which means “rhythm” or “measure,” as in a musical measure or bar.” This form of dance takes influences from jazz, with big band brass instruments accompanying Haitian rhythms of drums or bongos. The particular variety of music originated with Jean-Baptiste and his band during the 1950s. Since that time, it has become almost synonymous with Haitian music.

TJS students perform at the annual culture day

Music in the Classroom

The Joseph School is built on six fundamental pillars of education, one of which is celebrating Haitian culture and history through its curriculum. It would be a disservice to the students to exclude the rich tradition of music from their schooling, which is why a foot-tapping tune can frequently be heard across The Joseph School campus. 

Music has long been associated with increased retention for lessons in school. TJS builds on this and specifically incorporates music into its learning modules. This method has been so successful, even our professional development partners at P4H have incorporated music into their teachings. Music was a strong part of the lessons P4H taught during our three-year partnership with its organization.

TJS Teachers join in song during a P4H training lesson 

Music at TJS

Aside from the benefits music has on learning, it’s also a whole lot of fun! The Joseph School holds a play day each year, which is similar to an American school’s field day. The students participate in outdoor games such as sack races, tag, and, at TJS, dancing! Each classroom (roughly 15 – 18 students) composes a dance routine and performs in a competition on play day. The teachers of each grade plan most of the choreography, but in the older grades some of the students collaborate to create a joint routine. After each grade performs, the entire student body votes on which performance was the best.

TJS students perform at the holiday party

Similarly, each grade performs a song or dance at the annual Christmas party. It is common for American schools to have a sing-a-long performance for the students around the holiday season, but at The Joseph School a specific emphasis on dance is also included in the program.

We hope you enjoyed this small glimpse at some of the incredible traditions of Haitian culture celebrated at The Joseph School!


In Their Words

The Joseph School strives to educate students in Haiti and provide a foundation for a successful future- but why hear it from us? Hear from some of our 7th grade students on their personal experiences at The Joseph School in this month’s interview blog!



Chrislor in 2015 (left) and 2022 (right)

Q: What do you want to do when you grow up?
A: [I want to be an] engineer [because] it’s great when you’re watching a house being built.

Q: How has The Joseph School prepared you for this?
A: The school can help me become an engineer in learning geometry and much more


Q: What is your proudest moment in school?
A: [I feel my proudest in math and French classes.]

Q: Who is someone at TJS that you look up to?
A: I admire Mr. Elusma the most for the joy he puts into his work and the joy he brings to our hearts.

Q: What is your favorite thing about attending TJS?
A: I love everything in school, the activities, everything completely.

Q: What makes you excited about coming to school every day?
A: The way the teachers are always working and because I always find my friends to tell jokes.


Elysha in 2015 (left) and 2022 (right)

Q: What do you want to do when you grow up?
A: I would like to be a great doctor in the world.

Q: How has The Joseph School prepared you for this?
A: The school can help me learn everything related to medicine, such as biology.

Q: What is your proudest moment in school?
A: I feel proud when teachers are teaching classes.

Q: Who is someone at TJS that you look up to?
A: Throughout the school I admire the physics and math teacher.

Q: What is your favorite thing about attending TJS?
A: [The lessons the teachers use in the classroom.]

Q: What makes you excited about coming to school every day?
A: [I am] motivated to come to school so that I can learn and prepare for anything.