YEAR JOINED MKLM: 2019
CITY: Gros Morne
MINISTRY: Jean Marie Vincent Agricultural Center, Jesus-Mary School (Lekòl Jezi-Mari)
MINISTRY AREA: Sustainable Development
Jill’s transition to life in Haiti has come at a time when the whole world is transitioning to a different reality. Two weeks out of language school and in her new home in Gros Morne, the COVID-19 pandemic changed everything.
Still working on her Haitian Kreyòl, Jill has been working in a tree nursery of the Jean Marie Vincent Center in Grepen. As one of the most deforested countries in the world and with the reality of climate change, reforestation is a top priority. Since beginning work at the Grepen center in late March of 2020, the agronomists and Jill have raised and sent over 8,000 trees to be planted, with many more on the way.
Every morning she walks to Grepen, while in the afternoon, Jill has been making masks for members in the community. In addition to these ministries, Jill also helps fill the gaps for the agronomy center and for Lekòl Jezi Mari (Jesus and Mary School) with data organization.
Jill is originally from Loveland, Ohio, and attended the University of Dayton. She graduated in 2018 with a degree in human rights studies along with three minors: computer science, religious studies and sustainability. It was in college that she started to become more active in social justice, forming a Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Student Ambassadors group to encourage others as well during her final two years. In the summer of 2017, Jill joined a small group of students to Malawi, Africa for two months as part of a research practicum for the non-profit Determined to Develop. Falling in love with the people there, she desired to do something more.
Having met Maryknoll Lay Missioners at a post-grad service fair junior year, their work always stayed at the forefront of Jill’s mind. After graduation, Jill served a year with FrancisCorps in Syracuse, New York, working as an assistant in a L’Arche community, where she learned much about accompaniment and community. During that year, Jill applied to Maryknoll Lay Missioners and was placed in Haiti. When sharing the news with her friends and family, they all responded with positivity and excitement. It seems that God was telling her that is where she was meant to be.
Jill was active in her home parish St. Columban, her university campus ministry, as well as in Assumption Parish in Syracuse, New York.