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Loyola law students come to aid of Haitians

Loyola press release - March 5, 2008

Inspired by a recent trip to Haiti, Loyola University College of Law students have organized fundraising efforts to provide soccer equipment, school supplies and food to school children in the Western Hemisphere's poorest country.

Michelle Augustine, president of the A.P. Tureaud chapter of the National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA), organized the National BLSA Week of International Service to assist Pax Christi Haiti with their Soccer for Peace project. Pax Christi Haiti is a group of young Haitian men and women who are teachers, law students, translators, and other professionals that work on instituting a culture of peace among young boys in Cite de Soleil, Haiti.

Augustine, who is also the international relations director of the NBLSA, along with Heidi Kellener Areaux, a law student at Loyola, designed program and promotional materials for several fundraising drives. The materials were sent to 25 groups nationwide that took part during the end of February, including BLSAs from Georgetown Law School, Pepperdine Law School, University of Oregon Law School and Harvard Law School. Augustine said, I see myself as a connector, and in this trip, I am trying to connect the need I saw in Haiti to the skills and resources of the young law students I am acquainted with in the U.S.

Students from the A.P. Tureaud Chapter of BLSA and 20 students from law schools across the country will travel to Haiti March 14-16 with Augustine to meet with Pax Christi officials and personally donate the collected items and money. While in Haiti, the students will also meet with members of the Haitian legal community and perform community service activities in Cite de Soleil.

BLSA was created to ensure the matriculation of African-American law students through Loyola is not only intellectually stimulating, but also a nurturing and positive experience. BLSA serves as a mentorship program for students and continues to be active within the community.

For more information or to donate to the Soccer for Peace Project, contact Augustine at IRCHaiti@gmail.com by Friday, March 8.