Jameson Pierre-louis, an alumnus of the 2021 Aspire Leaders Program, explains the lack of opportunity in Haiti for youth to discover their full potential. Self-described as an “opportunity seeker,” Jameson would regularly look online for opportunities to advance his education. After applying but not moving to the final stage in 2020, he re-enrolled in 2021 and successfully became an alumni after his perseverance.
“What inspired me to apply for this program, twice, was the way in which Aspire encouraged me, and others, to look at ourselves differently – not as vulnerable or lacking just because of our low-income background,” he said. “After going through the program, people have started to believe in me and believe that I can go far in life.”
Pierre-Louis continues to intentionally build his network and recently met someone who was so inspired by his work that he provided funding for his first master’s in cyber law, the second of which he is completing now in international human rights — which he is fortunate enough to be able to complete virtually with the support of Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF). AUF funds this degree due to his research proposal focusing on the impact of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) on freedom of expression within the Haitian community.
In addition to these successes since completing the program, Pierre-Louis continues to be vocal in his community, speaking at youth activities to inspire other young minds to consider applying for opportunities such as the Aspire program. He was selected as the Haitian representative for PeaceX and with his support, Aspire now partners with this organization to provide opportunities for youth around the world.
Recently, Pierre-Louis was asked to make a presentation for a symposium organized by the International Institute for the Francophonie on digital technology’s impact on the Francophone community.
The Summit of the Francophonie will allow Pierre-Louis to present his paper on the charged existence of cyber societies in developing countries and how to empower these countries to develop cyber norms.
Future Goals and the Impact of the Aspire Leaders Program
Pierre-Louis feels passionate about the positive and negative effects that technology can play and appreciates networking across cultures.
“Technology has been used by democratic countries to undermine human rights,” he said. “Historically, there have been massive demonstrations, but now the youth are also on the street to ask for institutional and governmental accountability. Since 2017, there is increasing use of social media by activists to spread the word too.”
His interests meet at the intersection of political and social issues and the technological world. Although built on freedom of expression, technology has been used in ways that contradict this effort.
When it comes to his future, the possibilities are endless, but Pierre-Louis aims to create an organization of his own, one that can advocate for human rights and leverage technology to make sure it is honored by all parties involved.
He has considered extending his studies further, in another country, so that he can develop expertise in human rights and Artificial Intelligence or perhaps even a law degree that would focus on outer space law — since he has been fascinated by space since childhood.
After experiencing the power of global networking and consciousness through the Aspire Leaders Program, he seeks out opportunities to travel abroad and collaborate across cultures.
In his experience, the greatest benefit of being part of these international communities was the amount he was able to learn. He realized that he is not alone in Haiti as a low-income, highly curious student.
“We all got to just learn and grow and inspire each other and build connections between the developing world to make a difference,” he shared.“Because of the program, I am more confident to take action, because I really feel I am making an impact.”
When asked why he chooses to give back to Aspire, he shared: “I believe that I was born to be a leader and a leader should always impact the lives of others. That is how you make change happen.”