My name is Shaina Gilbert and I am the founder and director of ETE Camp. I am Haitian-American; born and proudly raised in Boston. I attended Boston Latin School, then earned a bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University, followed by my Masters in Education at Boston University. In addition to having to the privilege of a great education, I have been a participant in a number of support programs that guided my growth as a leader as well. Boston Center for Community and Justice, Steppingstone Academy, St. Angela’s in Mattapan, my leadership positions at Brandeis, and from my parents.
In 2009, I founded Empowering Through Education Camp, ETE Camp, in Hinche, Haiti with the intention to use education as a source of support to prepare Haiti’s most vulnerable youth to become future social justice leaders of Haiti. Today, with the support of many communities , ETE Camp is now a non-profit organization, which, in 5 years, has worked with over 225 Hinche residents (70% under 15 years old).
For the past 5 years, at least one child has come to me and said, “Ms. Shaina, mwen apresye sa ou fè pou mwen. M’ap priye pou Bondye beni ou, fanmi ou, ak tout ETE Camp.” — “Ms. Shaina, I appreciate what you do for me. I will pray that God blesses you, your family, and all of ETE Camp.” When a child takes the time to close his or her eyes and pray for you… there is nothing more motivating, precious, and humbling than that.