Young Female Haitian Pastry Chef Graduates with Highest Honors

Christele Elie—the young woman from Haiti who received a scholarship from the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association Education Foundation (CHTAEF) Haiti Project as a direct results of contributions made by BoulderShares®—graduated from the Antigua and Barbuda Hospitality Training Institute with a Culinary Arts Associate Degree

Eight students from Haiti—seven of whom were female—attended the two-year program. The students were selected to study in Antigua after the cooking school in Port-au-Prince was destroyed in the 2010 earthquake. As was envisioned, all students completed their studies in Antigua, learned English, returned to Haiti, and are now employed in top hotels and restaurants throughout Haiti. Several internships throughout the Caribbean were obtained during the two-year program as a result of the hard work of Louise John of CHATEF during the students’ training.

Sponsorship of Christele Elie was created by pooling a BoulderShares donation with proceeds won by the Haitian delegation in the Taste of the Caribbean in Miami—also sponsored by BoulderShares in 2012. Other expenses were covered by M Simmonet of Comier Plage where Christele will now be working for the next three years as one of the three chefs in a new format of shared and equal status and responsibility, as opposed to a more common head chef-sous chef format.

Christele graduated with the highest honors and was the only student to achieve that distinction. She excelled in all of her internships at top resorts on Antigua and Punta Cana.

BoulderShares has been proud to partner with CHTAEF since 2012, and was delighted to attend the celebration supper and graduation ceremony of the culinary students. Top hoteliers from throughout Haiti were present as they have hired these newly trained graduates. The CHTAEF Haiti Project was initiated through the vision and efforts of Agnes Pierre Louis of Le Plaza Hotel and her contacts in the Haiti hotel industry who reached out to Louise John in Antigua after the earthquake.

The Minister of Education and Science of Antigua and Barbuda, The Honorable Michael Brown, addressed the graduates at the ceremony held at Le Plaza Hotel and emphasized the importance not only of training, but of networking. During his speech, he recognized a former classmate from Columbia University, Rachel Pamela Pierre of Fondation Digicel, and new connections in the Caribbean basin were established.

At the ceremony, the Minister announced this program will continue into next year. BoulderShares has already proposed a selection of their student from the list of candidates provided who now qualify but are in need sponsors. There are approximately eight students remaining who will need sponsorship.