This month’s Dirigo award recipient, Marie-France Georges, celebrates her heritage. In fact, she shares her culture with the community through an organization she helped found: the University of Maine’s Caribbean Club.
Georges, a native of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, currently serves as the club’s treasurer. She says that of all her campus involvement, the club is the activity she holds closest to her heart. The club has grown from its start in 2014 and it allows members to continuously celebrate their countries’ cultures, feel closer to home, and share their traditions with others. The group takes part in many events across campus, hosting socials and events as well as raising awareness and fundraising for Caribbean countries in their times of need.
“The Caribbean Club has helped us build a family whose mission is to share the culture of the Caribbean Islands with the local public,” she adds.
Georges may be far from her home in Haiti, but she hopes to establish a career that allows her to give back to her native country. The senior, majoring in finance and marketing, plans to continue her education after graduation in May 2018.
“I hope to continue my studies in business by pursuing a Master’s in Business Administration,” she explains. “I also plan to simultaneously work with fellow Haitians living in the United States, France, and Canada as well as Haiti in developing educational programs for young professionals living in Haiti, providing them with a more global perspective and thereby building a platform for social success.”
Georges says she is fond of Orono, which to her feels like a second home. The University of Maine is understandably a big reason for those sentiments. To her, UMaine is a caring community that brings people together; where each person matters and is able to have a voice.
Her older sister is also an alumna, a fact which Georges feels strengthens her ties with the school.
“I chose UMaine because the student body, faculty, and administrative staff care,” she states.
Georges says her favorite professors on campus, Dr. Margaret Killinger, Rezendes Preceptor for the Arts, and Dr. Pankaj Agrrawal, Associate Professor of Finance, both share a passionate desire to help students maximize their potential.
Outside of class and the Caribbean Club, Georges is an ambassador for the Maine Business School, where she is responsible for encouraging prospective students to join the University of Maine community. She also is an active member of the International Students Association, which is a group that brings students from all ethnic backgrounds on campus together.
When she’s not taking part in all of her campus-related activities she regularly enjoys dancing, reading, watching soccer games, and hanging out with her friends.
“The University of Maine is and will remain the college of my heart, always,” Georges adds.
The UMaine Alumni Association, with support from University Credit Union, each month presents its Dirigo Award to an undergraduate student who exemplifies the academic and civic ideals of the University of Maine. Selections are made in consultation with UMaine’s deans and the Division of Student Life.