NAAHP Scholarship Winner
Isabelle Montoute is a first generation student. She was raised by a single mother and her little sister was born with a torn nerve in her right arm, by the fault of the obstetrician assisting the delivery, and 11 years later her family still has not been compensated for the damage. When she was young, her grandmother moved from Haiti to stay with her and her sister because her mother worked late shifts. By the age of 9, she knew how to make various traditional Haitian meals because her grandmother would teach her while her mother was at work. Now, her mom has a regular work schedule, but she babysits her sister in the summertime. She has been taking music classes since she was 7 and she loves the arts. At church sometimes she provides musical accompaniment for masses, for example, she was paid to play the keyboard at a wedding at her church this summer. At church, in her youth group, she helps direct the annual nativity, she has organized fundraisers that have yielded between $400 and $2000. She also help plan field trips with the adult leaders of the group and she train younger children for altar service and taking on other roles in the church such as reading lectures, collecting money, etc. She has also choreographed and performed dances at events at her church for our annual Christmas celebration and at different events throughout the year, for example, Haitian Flag Day. In regards to social multiculturalism, she has co-founded affinity groups at her school with to help students of color connect with each other so they do not feel out of place in our school community. These groups will other serve to inform people about the dangers of monoculturalism and will celebrate our different cultures. She is passionate about finding ways to bring awareness of social justice issues to the public, for example with fundraisers or flyers to hang around.