NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. — A Florida-based nonprofit is helping to provide educational opportunities for girls in Haiti.

What You Need To Know

  • Maya Hyppolite serves as the vice president of the nonprofit, Saint Rose de Lima foundation, which typically provides educational support for 80 Haitian girls a year

  • She owns Morganna's Alchemy in New Port Richey

  • Since the foundation started, it’s had multiple success stories

  • Experts say Haiti's literacy rate is about 61%

Experts say the country's literacy rate is about 61%. Maya Hyppolite attended school there herself and is now focused on making sure others get the same opportunities she did. 

"They usually tell us, 'You can't mix water and oil,'" she said.

For Hyppolite, a cosmetic chemist, anything is possible at her research and manufacturing lab. She owns Morganna's Alchemy in New Port Richey.

Her career brought her thousands of miles away from her native country of Haiti.

"I love the fact that I could put science together with creativity," she said.

Many ingredients for her products come from the island, like Haitian Moringa Oil.

“People know Moringa has all of the virtues,” Hyppolite said. “It has vitamin E. It’s particularly good for people who have oily skin.”

She says her fulfilling life and career were made possible through education — when Hyppolite lived in Haiti, she attended Saint Rose De Lima Primary School.

A portion of the proceeds from the products Hyppolite sells pays for tuition for students at her alma mater.

"We don't realize how good we have it when we have an education," said Hyppolite.

It is estimated that 90% of the schools in Haiti are privately run.

"In order to get schooling, you need to pay for it," Hyppolite said. "Whether it be $20 and $100 a month."

Hyppolite serves as the vice president of the nonprofit Saint Rose de Lima Foundation, which typically provides educational support for 80 Haitian girls a year.

"The long-term impact is giving them the tools so that they can build the economy in Haiti," she said.

Since the foundation started, Hyppolite said it has had multiple success stories, with one scholarship recipient recently graduating from college.

"In Haiti, there's no social security system," Hyppolite said. "So when one person makes it, they can take care of their whole family."