Just over one year after a catastrophic earthquake rocked Haiti – claiming the lives of some 230,000 people including college student Britney Gengel of Rutland, Mass. – the Suffolk University Center for International Education will welcome Britney’s parents, Len and Cherylann Gengel, to the University at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, March 22. They will be joined by Britney’s brother, Bernie, a freshman at the Sawyer Business School.
Cherylann Gengel will reflect on Britney’s memory and her time in Haiti, while Len Gengel will discuss ongoing efforts to build an orphanage in Britney’s memory in Haiti through the non-profit “Be Like Brit” organization.
Britney Gengel traveled to Haiti in January 2010 with fellow students from Lynn University. In their first days in Haiti, Britney and the other students had visited a senior center and an orphanage. On the day of the earthquake, the group visited two more orphanages, before serving lunch to guests at a rice kitchen. When the earthquake hit, Britney, three of her fellow students and two Lynn professors were killed. Britney Gengel was just 19 years old. Her body was recovered 33 days later.
Not wanting Britney’s dream of one day starting her own orphanage in Haiti to die with her, the Gengel family established a non-profit organization, "Be Like Brit", with the mission to serve the children of Haiti by establishing a safe, nurturing and sustainable orphanage.
Len and Cherylann Gengel will speak at 1 p.m. March 22, at David J. Sargent Hall, 120 Tremont Street, Boston. Sponsored by the Suffolk University Center for International Education, the event is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact R. Scott Reedy at 617-994-4221