President – Steven Kirby, Ed.D
Dr. Steven Kirby is a career educator and strong advocate for disenfranchised youth. He holds five degrees in the field of education including a Doctorate in Education from Peabody College at Vanderbilt University, an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and an M.S.Ed. from the University of Miami. His history as an educator has taken him from the villages of Fiji and Ghana to the inner city of Miami. Dr. Kirby first learned about Haiti and its true needs as a mentor to Haitian youth in the Miami neighborhood of Little Haiti. As a result of his interactions with immigrant Haitian families he felt the need to visit Haiti personally to better understand the country and people. After moving to Haiti permanently in 2009 and experiencing first-hand the tragic 7.0 earthquake of 2010, Dr. Kirby realized the importance and need for a system that would help the orphans and street children of Haiti become educated and productive citizens of society. H.E.R.O. is a result of that realization. Currently, Dr. Kirby lives at the Transition Home for Orphans in Port-au-Prince working on a daily basis to provide housing, education, and rehabilitation for the street children and orphans of Haiti.
Vice-President - Natacha Constant
Natacha Bertrand Constant was born and raised in Haiti. As a young adult she migrated to the United States, initially to pursue a degree in social work. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology with a minor in Journalism at Queens College of the City University of New York. Her first professional job was an s the coordinator of an outreach project targeting runaway teens. It was during this time that she found her calling to serve disenfranchised youth. She later earned her Master’s degree in Education from City College of CUNY, which has enabled her to teach at Title 1 schools in New York and Georgia. Haiti saw Natacha come into this world and grow into a young woman; its sounds, smells and people have always waited for her to come back. As an educator, serving the most disenfranchised children of Haiti seems to be the most fitting way to return the favor.
Secretary – Michele Deardorff
Michele Deardorff holds a degree in Elementary Education from Northwest Nazarene University. She spent three years teaching 3rd grade in Nampa, Idaho mostly serving students from low-income neighborhoods and learning English as a second language. She has also been involved with various community organizations that provide care for at-risk children, especially the children of migrant farm workers. Michele moved to Haiti in August 2009 to teach 3rd grade at an international school in Port-au-Prince. What began as an overseas travel opportunity soon became an eye-opening lesson in true poverty. Although Michele had been teaching impoverished students in the US, that was nothing compared to the conditions she observed in Haiti. While there, she saw first-hand the many street children who are on their own because their country lacks systems to support them. Michele has since returned to the US, but continues to travel to Haiti, working with H.E.R.O. to create a place for these children.
Treasurer – Paula Poag
Paula is a native of Nashville, Tennessee and is a career educator. She earned her Bachelor’s degree at Middle Tennessee State University in Elementary Education and later earned her Master’s degree at Trevecca Nazarene University. Paula has taught Metro-Nashville Public Schools for over 17 years, primarily in urban schools serving students from low-income families. Paula served as the Literacy Leader and Reading First Grant Coordinator at a Nashville elementary school for seven years. Her extensive work in grant writing, budgeting, and maximizing resource allocation is an asset to H.E.R.O. She is H.E.R.O.’s resident grant writer and coordinates fundraising activities and programs throughout the United States.