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 10 years, has worked with over 285 Hinche residents (70% under 15 years old).
For the past 10 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 not a more motivating, precious, and humbling gift than that.