I am so proud to bring you this blog post about a young Haitian man that has shown us all what it means to be a hero.
I first encountered Herold Charles on Twitter nearly a year ago. Immediately following the earthquake in Haiti, Herold was fast on his feet, acting swiftly to make a difference in the lives of those who were suffering, both in Haiti and abroad.
On Friday, December 10, 2010, Herold will be honored for that valiant and heroic effort on the TeenNick HALO Awards (premiering at 8pm Eastern Time on TeenNick). In addition to totally surprising us with a donation of half of his charitable prize, Herold was kind enough to grant me this interview where he explains more about his incredible journey.
LUKE: Tell us your story. Where are you from specifically, what are your passions, and where do you see yourself in the future?
HEROLD: I am from Jacmel. I moved to the states when I was 12 with my dad. All my other relatives live in Haiti. My dad is currently there since the quake and never came back home. I have a passion for Technology. I am currently in high school but I am doing both High School and college at the same time. I am currently in my 3rd year on studying IT- Computer Networking. I don’t really think much of my future but from the looks of things, I am pretty sure it’s gonna be a great one. I hope to continue on networking. If not, I’ll go for psychology. All my friends tell me I picked the wrong career choice because I am so good at giving advice.
LUKE: Describe the TeenNick HALO Awards.
HEROLD: The TeenNick HALO Award is an award given to individuals that are Helping And Leading Others (HALO). After the earthquake in Haiti, I was helping intensely with Relief Efforts; I helped find missing relatives for people in the States and around the world through Twitter. They would send me the name, address, and phone number of their relatives in Haiti and I would then forward it by text (at that time calling didn’t work) to my family in Haiti and they would then go and get me some news on those people. Once they got news, they would in turn call me and let me know what they heard and I would go ahead and call the families here and let them know what I heard. Some was good news and others, not so good. Besides that, I was helping out with translation from English to French, Creole, or Spanish. I would translate documents for medical personnel and news reports.
LUKE: As I understand it, there was a personal prize and a prize for your choice of non-profit. Can you describe how that breaks down?
HEROLD: There were two prizes given. They awarded me with a combined total of $20,000. $10,000 would go towards my education and the other $10,000 would go to the charity of my choice. I decided that you guys (Fireside International) and Project Medishare would be the two organizations I would award the grant to, because I oh so love the work that you guys are doing! Both of you will receive $5,000 each.
Herold Charles stands alongside a fellow hero to Haiti, Wyclef Jean
LUKE: We feel so very fortunate to share the $10,000 prize with @Medishare4Haiti. While we are very aware of our own projects, can you please take a moment to tell us more about the work that MedShare is doing?
HEROLD: Project Medishare for Haiti, Inc., a 501.3 non-profit registered in the State of Florida, was founded in 1994 by Drs. Barth Green and Arthur Fournier from the University of Miami School of Medicine. It is an organization dedicated to sharing its human and technical resources with its Haitian partners in the quest to achieve quality healthcare and development services for all. This mission is accomplished through two distinct but complimentary programs which now frequently intersect, such as the Community Health Program and the Integrated Community Development Program.
(You can find out more about Project MediShare at their website:www.ProjectMediShare.org
LUKE: As a humanitarian and a young leader, what advice can you give to the rest of us when it comes to making a difference in our world?
HEROLD: My advice to everyone out there is that you are never too small to make a difference. With the right determination, you can’t change the world but you can sure change someone’s life. If that person pays it forward, you will reach a whole lot more people than you imagined. When I was doing this work, I didn’t expect anything to happen. But look at how much is happening. I would suggest to everyone that whatever they are doing, don’t do it for selfish reasons. Do it because you care. Do it because you are passionate about it. Do it because you care about people!