Rosane Sasset and Rachelle Pierre Louis have volunteered their time and energy to the same cause: helping dozens of young people apply to EARTH University. Living in different hemispheres and working independently, Rosane and Rachelle have supported future EARTH students in navigating the visa process and filing all necessary paperwork – so they can relocate to Costa Rica to fulfill their dream.
Five years ago, while looking for an article about livestock feeding in an agricultural magazine, Rosane Sasset came across the name of EARTH University. It was a blurb announcing the admissions process. Immediately curious, she began to research. Almost instantly, she fell in love with the University’s unique academic model and holistic vision. Rosane thought it would be the perfect place for her students – primarily the sons and daughters of small-scale farmers from the interior Brazilian state of Rondônia, where she works as a Spanish teacher.
Since then, Rosane has created a slideshow presentation with photos and information from EARTH. She stops by high school classrooms, presenting for an hour or two about the opportunities that await at the University and encouraging students to apply. Students studying at EARTH – her former pupils among them – send audio messages describing the coolest parts about the campus and experiential classes. Rosane says that eyes light up and students are eager to start the admissions process. She and a few of her colleagues help them prepare for the interviews and entrance exam. Once they are admitted, Rosane moves mountains to secure their visas, passports, and permits. When necessary, she is unafraid to rally the entire community to donate to the students lacking the economic resources for the paperwork requirements and supplies needed to travel to Costa Rica.
In 2005, Rachelle Pierre Louis first had contact with EARTH. Working in rural development in Haiti for IICA (Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture), she has long been invested in the country’s renaissance. As an avid volleyball player, she regularly comes into contact with energetic young people seeking opportunities – and helps those interested in applying to the University. She recognizes that more EARTH graduates from Haiti will only improve the struggling nation’s prospects.
For many years, the situation in Haiti has been complicated – even violent – and its infrastructure in disarray. Rachelle, however, is a master planner – this is how she gets the applicants whom she shepherds to Costa Rica. She works to speed up the bureaucratic processes. She fights so they can send mail and stay safe while traversing the country, gathering the necessary paperwork. She helps them learn Spanish.
Her greatest satisfaction is seeing them graduate, return to their country as leaders of change, and grow despite the adversities of their home environment.
Fortunately, there are many altruistic people – like Rosane and Rachelle – who make it possible for EARTH to be a warm and accessible living-learning community for countless future leaders.
Rosane visited EARTH for the first time in December 2019, to celebrate the graduation of two students whom she has supported from the start. She is beyond proud of their achievements and looks forward to them building opportunities for folks back home. She feels the same about the rest of her “sons and daughters of the heart”.
On behalf of the entire EARTH family, we thank Rosane and Rachelle for their selfless work. You are making a difference. ¡Mil gracias!