Zips for Haiti Sponsors Haitian Student to Study at UA

The student organization raised money to sponsor Rilouvinxx Isaac from Ouanaminthe, Haiti, by starting their own coffee business.


(Image via Zips for Haiti)

Zips for Haiti coffee is roasted by the Akron Coffee Roasters.

By Camryn Moore, Guest Writer

Zips for Haiti is a student organization at The University of Akron encouraging student engagement through fundraising initiatives to bring about long-term change in Haiti and immerse students into Haitian culture. 

Since Zips for Haiti’s founding in 2014, over 100 students from three neighboring universities have gone on eight successful service trips to Haiti, according to their website.

“We are providing students with the awareness of Haitian life through trips to Haiti as well as the experience we gain through other activities,” Zips for Haiti President Stephan Ketchum said. “Our students are given a cultural learning experience that they can’t find anywhere else.” 

Former Zips for Haiti President Drew Dawnson originally started a coffee business in Haiti, and later in Akron, in order to raise money after seeing the need for education in Haiti.

The Zips for Haiti coffee production in partnership with The University and Akron Coffee Roasters are providing Rilouvinxx (Bilou) Isaac, an Electrical Engineering major from Ouanaminthe, Haiti, with a sponsorship to come study at UA. 

Isaac is the first Haitian student to be sponsored by a student run organization to study at The University of Akron.

Isaac’s tuition is primarily supported by coffee sales from local coffee establishments, including Compass Coffee and Akron Coffee Roasters.

The organization hopes to sponsor more students in the future and continue expanding their coffee business to help the people of Ouanaminthe.

“The most important thing I’ve learned from being in this organization is the importance of education,” Vice President Carson Moore said. “Only a very small percentage of Haitian children get a K-12 education and an even smaller percentage that are able to go to college. 

Students interested in joining the organization can contact
[email protected] for more information and purchase coffee by visiting Zips for Haiti’s website.