Meet Wilson Dorsica
The Joseph School staff first met Wilson when he was only fifteen. When asked about where he went to school he shared that he’d never been to school. His family could not simply afford it. His mother had died when he was young and his father was 80, and not well enough to take care of him and his family. Wilson then took on the responsibility of taking care of his father, sister, and brother from a young age.
Daily life was a struggle for Wilson like many children and teens growing up in Haiti. Children have little time to just be children; There is work to do no matter their age. They have jobs to do each day just to survive, leaving no time for school, and little money to pay for daily food. More than a half million children and teens in Haiti are out of school for a multitude of reasons. Like Wilson, some are without parents or without healthy parents, educational costs are too expensive, no transportation to schools, and gang violence.
Wilson was invited by our staff to come help with some of the clean-up tasks after a soccer game. He began to come to The Joseph School after that day offering to help out with whatever he could. He did this without asking for any payment. If he saw the staff cleaning, he joined in. If he saw a dirty TJS vehicle, he would wash it. If our TJS’ repairman, Wilkens, was fixing something, Wilson watched carefully, learning what to do and then offering his help.
At that time TJS was only an elementary school and Wilson was beyond the age to attend. With his help, a job description was created for him to start employment at the school. He became our repairman’s assistant. His role with The Joseph School encouraged him to enroll in a trade school to become a licensed plumber. He used some of his salary to pay for school while working part-time. Wilson arrives early to our TJS campus, cleaning and checking every classroom before heading to his school. After his own classes, he returned to TJS and completed any school maintenance.
Wilson is intelligent, resourceful, and resilient. He just needed an opportunity. A simple job and further education provided that. Wilson shared he had to step out in faith when he enrolled in the trade school. He needed to believe that he could succeed. Before he started the program, he went to a printer and printed his own business cards. This helped him believe that he could persevere through challenging times and complete his training.
Wilson is now a trade school graduate and continues to work for TJS. His story is an example of the leadership ripple effect TJS is having in Haiti. When Wilson is asked, “What makes you most proud to be a part of TJS?” He responds: “First, I have learned how to give to others by being a part of something great for this nation. Second, it helps me get closer to God. With my salary I have been able to pay for my trade school as well as help my aging father, sister, and brother.”
At TJS, we not only reach out to our students but also to those around us. TJS provides Wilson and those like him an opportunity to give back; growing new leaders for the nation of Haiti.