Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

T-Shirts for Haiti

April 28th, 2010

By: Alicia Duplessis Jasmin

Photo: First-year student Alexandra Yarost leads her peers in a campaign to raise money for survivors of the earthquake in Haiti. (Photo by Alicia Duplessis Jasmin)

Students enrolled in the TIDES business course “More Than Business” this year learned about social entrepreneurship by combining business ideas with a public-service mission. Among those students is Alexandra Yarost, who managed a team that sold T-shirts to raise money for Haiti’s earthquake recovery.

“T-shirts are an item that many people can relate to,” says Yarost, a first-year student from West Bloomfield, Mich. “We decided on a fleur-de-lis design because it shows a parallel between the natural disaster in New Orleans and the one in Haiti.”

The fleur-de-lis shirts were sold in the Lavin-Bernick Center for $10 each. For each shirt sold, the group designated $6 for Haitian relief. The group sold more than 180 T-shirts, which resulted in a greater than $1,000 donation to the American Red Cross.

Amjad Ayoubi, instructor for the course and associate dean of Newcomb-Tulane College, says that the two-semester class focused in the first semester on the basics of business and in the second semester on leadership in business. The course had a public-service component, which required students to complete 20 hours of community service each semester.

“We were discussing leadership and potential service projects, and then the Haiti earthquake happened,” says Ayoubi. “I wanted to teach them the lesson that as a leader, you may have a plan about what you want to do, but when something drastic happens you can’t ignore it. You have to look for opportunities to help.”

Tulane Interdisciplinary Experience Seminars (TIDES) are required for all first-year Tulane students. Each seminar is designed to introduce students to different topics through active learning and community involvement.

See the original article in Tulane’s New Wave.