It was eight years today (January 12) that a devastating, 7.1 magnitude earthquake ravaged the nation of Haiti. The estimated death toll was placed at well over 200,000, with millions more affected by the disaster. The long and arduous rebuilding job is still not complete.
Essex County College has always welcomed students from all over the world, many of whom are either from Haiti and came here to continue their education, or have deep family roots in the Caribbean. At the time, the College community quickly mobilized, sending badly needed supplies and cash to the stricken island. As back then, today we must never forget the suffering that occurred that horrible day.
Personal connections with our College remain. For example, Ms. Kernimay Fenelon (Class of 2015 – A.S. Engineering) was living in Haiti when the quake hit. “I thought I was going to die,” Kernimay told the student audience yesterday during a program featuring Essex alumni in the sciences. Her Honors Program Capstone project was on Earthquake Resistant Design. She is currently studying Geoscience Engineering at Rutgers University-Newark and will use that knowledge to better help those around the world in earthquake prone areas.
Essex County College has always come through to help people in need. The College Disaster Relief Committee, born out of last summer’s hurricanes in the southern United States and the Caribbean, is an excellent example of our continuing to help those in need.
As 2018 begins, please keep those in need in your hearts and prayers, and help when you can.