Today I am featuring one of McKinney’s amazing local students, Lindy Winter. Lindy just finished her sophomore year at Imagine International Academy of North Texas here in McKinney. Imagine is an International Baccalaureate (IB) school, and part of the transition from the middle years that end in 10th grade to the diploma years that begin in 11th grade at IB Schools is the completion of a personal project. Lindy has done a remarkable job on her personal project, Support for Haitian Women. Here’s what she has to say about her project:
GM: What made you decide to advocate for Haitian women?
LW: When I was presented with the task of the personal project, I looked to some close family friends for inspiration because I knew they worked with an organization called Haitian Support, which I thought was really cool. After looking a little into what they did and doing a little research, I found out how much Haitian women really do need help, and also how easy it is to provide that. That was when I first became interested in helping improve the lives of Haitian women.
GM: What has surprised you the most as you’ve studied the circumstances in Haiti?
LW: As I’ve studied the circumstances in Haiti, the most surprising thing that I found out about is the growing problem of sexual abuse in Haiti, especially in the camps that many thousands of people have had to live in since the earthquake destroyed several homes. These camps, created by the government, are supposed to provide shelter and security, but many women are endangered every day by the conditions they are placed in. Also, they are not allowed to leave the camps unless they have a steady income, which is very hard for them.
GM: What made you decide to create a website for your project?
LW: After researching the plight of Haiti’s women, I decided to create a website about them so that people would realize what a big struggle they have in their communities and want to help. I figured the first step I could take toward making a difference in the lives of Haitian women was raising awareness through a website. In the future, however, I would like to do more to help them and actually visit the country.
GM: What do you hope your project will accomplish?
LW: Through my website, I hope to raise awareness about the conditions of Haitian women and to inspire people to make a difference in their local and global communities as well – by donating, volunteering, or spreading the word about what help is needed.
GM: How has your education at an IB school affected your approach to this project?
LW: Because of my IB education, I have been encouraged to make an effort to positively impact the world, both locally and globally. It is very inspiring to be educated on the ways other people have impacted the world through examples such as Habitat for Humanity, Learning for Limbs, or even my own principal, Mr. Emerton. Not to mention, every grade level participates in a different charity throughout the year, which helps the students to see how they can make a difference also. Ultimately, I wouldn’t have even thought of helping Haitian women or doing any sort of service project like this without having first been educated at an IB school.
GM: You are approaching your junior year in high school. Do you know what you’d like to do after graduation yet?
LW: After graduation, I would like to go to college in either Texas or California and go into the missionary field, where I can learn to further make an impact on the world.
GM: Is there anything else you want Get McKinney readers to know?
LW: No matter how small it may seem, every effort one takes to help those in need is a worthwhile effort. Helping empower the lives of Haitian women not only benefits them individually, but in the future will benefit the country and even the global community as a whole. Every penny, every second, and every thought that goes towards benefiting the lives of others counts.
If you would like to learn more about Lindy’s project and find out how you can help, be sure to visit her website at Support for Haitian Women.