Heller Profiles

The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University

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Ronald Bernard


MA-SID '12

A citizen of the world

Born into poverty in Haiti, Ronald Bernard wants to improve the well-being of all who are poor.

Ronald Bernard grew up in Haiti’s Port-au-Prince and experienced the effects of poverty first-hand. “About 80% of the schools in Haiti are private, and, like most families, mine could not afford them,” he says. When Ronald turned 6, he gained a sponsor through Child Reach International. “My sponsor began financing my education and when I was still quite young, she quoted Sir Francis Bacon to me in a letter. That’s how the phrase ‘knowledge is power’ became my compass.”

Ronald wanted to use his education to improve the economic and social well-being of his community. Like many others with similar interests, he took the path to Heller where he joined a global community of students, faculty practitioners and researchers committed to addressing policy issues worldwide. “I’m grateful for the knowledge and skills I’ve gained, for the broad curriculum, the caring faculty, and my fellow students and especially for the change inside of me. Heller has helped me develop the knowledge, skills and relationships that will make my voice heard when I return to Haiti, and will enable me to help create real change in my country.”

While Ronald has always been driven by the desire to effect change in his own country, his goals do not end there. He says, “I consider myself a citizen of the world and I want to create change for all people who struggle against poverty.”

Knowledge Advancing Social Justice

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