When we invest in the children of the world, we save our own lives.” — Chrissybil Boulin, Founder of Merkabah International Foundation
Each person on Merkabah International Foundation’s strategic team is committed to developing a business model that not only empowers children to maximize their own potential, but also invest in a technology-driven educational environment that becomes integral to Haiti’s economic and cultural growth.
Meet Merkabah’s leadership team:
Chrissybil Boulin, Founder
When I was very young, I noticed there was something strange but yet rich about my life positioning. As a Haitian American woman, I live in different worlds.
My perspective has ensured that I experience myself across various social, economic and cultural spheres. I was conceived in Haiti (Ayiti), but was born into one of the most technologically advanced countries on the planet! This juxtaposition has allowed me to formulate a unique perspective on life. I have come to see the beauty and potential, both latent and obvious within these realities.
Most importantly, I have come to understand that our potential as a human race is endless. I live on fridges of poverty and innovation, compassion and capital, technology and warfare. This exciting vantage point has given me the most beautiful gift. My insatiable passion to discover and invent initiatives that merge these colliding worlds.
I have always been passionate about development. I remember being four years old riding home from the beach with my dad in Ayiti. On our way back, I saw young boys and girls barely six years old running after my father’s car. When I asked my dad what was going on, he told me these children were so poor they couldn’t afford to have a childhood. He explained that most children spend many hours each day chasing after cars hoping that someone would offer them spare change. Nothing he told me could satisfy my desire to understand how it was possible that children were deprived of the ability to survive.
I vowed I would one day return to Ayiti to impact positive change.
In the last five years, I have been graced with amazing opportunities to expand my understanding of how culture, technology and education can empower development. I speak five languages, have traveled to thirty countries and studied abroad three times. My interests inside and outside the classroom depict my passion for innovation.
I currently serve as a United Nations Global Youth Ambassador representing the United States. In 2013, I filmed a documentary sponsored by Intel about technology, development and girls educational issues. Through various social media outlets our blog posts, tweets, community service events and documentary challenged millions around the world to think about education as a universal good to all.
Development is a vast topic. This realization sparked within me the desire to learn through a liberal arts curriculum. In 2011, I received an associate degree in liberal arts education from Florida State University. In 2012, I transferred to Emory University. There I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. I also graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Women Gender Sex and Sexuality.
My college education has aided my ability to think critically, logically and abstractly. Now that I am the founder of Merkabah International Foundation, an educational charity based on sustainability and development in Ayiti, these skills are invaluable. I currently work as a child yoga and mindfulness instructor, curriculum builder and tutor to students ages 4 – 17.
My undergraduate education may be complete, but I will continue to broaden my education with specialized studies. I was recently accepted into an MPHIL Development Studies program at Cambridge University. At the same time, I was also accepted into a Sustainable Urban Development MSC Program at Oxford University. Still undecided, I anticipate entering into a Master’s Program from either Cambridge or Oxford University in Fall of 2016.
Meet Merkabah’s Valued Team Members
Chelsea McCune, Volunteer Stewardship Officer
Chelsea is a December 2015 Emory University graduate with BA in Sociology and Pre-Physical Therapy studies. Her talents include grant writing, nonprofit stewardship and development.
She says, “Volunteering with Merkabah International, Inc will help me translate the educational privileges I’ve been afforded into collaboration in responsible stewardship for Ayiti’s sustainable youth education and development. Education–mindful and productive–is a human right that should be affordable to all.”
Ninotchka Doleyres, Public Health and Community Outreach Specialist
Ninotchka believes in the welfare of every children and their well-being. This is demonstrated with her many years of volunteering as a Guardian Ad Litem in Florida advocating for young children in the foster care system. She also lead the “Read to Me” initiative by the Hands-on-Miami organization for many years before the program ended. In this role, Ninotchka helped the children in this transitional shelter with their homework and organized trips to the Museums and other venues to help expand these children’s world and creativity. Ninotchka is a seasoned Public Health professional with an extensive background and knowledge in the health field and whose goal is to advance the health and well-being of every child and human being.
Meet Merkabah’s Valued Advisors
Michelle Valigursky, Communications Advisor
Michelle believes in every child’s right to an education that stimulates creativity, inspires community involvement, and maximizes individual potential. She is a results-driven communications leader in higher education with an established track record of providing well-researched and on-budget integrated communications projects for internal and external audiences. Michelle identifies business objectives and counsels business leaders in multiple industries to shape stories and drive growth by developing positioning and thought leadership articles, scripts, brochures, and more for digital and print mediums.
Neil I. Jacobs, Legal Counsel
Neil has been representing startups, SMEs, family-owned businesses and smaller public companies for almost 30 years. His focus is on corporate structuring, finance, operation and governance issues, strategic alliances and joint ventures, and mergers and acquisitions.