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Monday, May 16, 2011

Unexpected Recognition: A Graduation Day to Remember

Group Hug
On Friday the 13th of May I had the honor of graduating with my Doctorate in Education from Peabody College at Vanderbilt University. Peabody has been ranked the number 1 school of education in the nation for three consecutive years, an accomplishment that highlights the quality of the program, professors, and students. After three years in this program, two of which I completed by flying back and forth between Haiti and Nashville, I am excited to use my degree and knowledge to further the work of H.E.R.O. and to serve the orphans and street children of Haiti.

Steven Kirby and Mike Krause
During the graduation ceremony there was a moment that brought tears to my eyes. The Dean of Peabody had finished her speech and invited Mike Krause, an M.P.P. graduate to take the stage to give the commencement speech. His speech was humorous and intriguing, and I was struck that at one point he began talking about Haiti. He talked about a student that moved to the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere where 80 percent of the population live on less than $2.00 a day and a country that had suffered a devastating earthquake. And then he was talking about me, and talking about H.E.R.O. and I quote, “If you remember nothing else from this speech, please remember Steve’s organization.” This individual, Mike Krause, a military veteran that had completed 2 tours of duty in Iraq, a cancer survivor during his time at Peabody, the person chosen to give the commencement speech for our graduation, had chosen Haiti and chosen H.E.R.O. to be the focal point of his speech! Tears of joy and tears of thanks ran down my cheeks as I thought about how Mike was keeping Haiti alive in the hearts and minds of our fellow Peabody graduates, professors, and families, and that he had accomplished the most important task that I ask all of our supporters to do. Don’t forget Haiti!

Now that my degree is complete my time is 100% devoted to H.E.R.O. and providing housing, education, and rehabilitation for the street children and orphans in Haiti. I encourage you to discuss Haiti and its needs with your friends, family, colleagues, and co-workers. Just by keeping the conversation alive about Haiti you are making a difference. Thank you!

Proud Parents

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