HERSHEY, Pa. (WHTM) – He’s an award-winning surgeon, a church Deacon, and now this local man is a teacher for children in Haiti.

Doctor Rodrigue Mortel received his Doctoral degree in Haiti, has been chairman of the OBGYN Department at Penn State for 13 years, and is now giving back to the country he came from.

This story begins the same as many: one man with a dream. His peers said, “Dr. Mortel really is a living saint, with everything he’s been able to accomplish starting a school with 65 students, today up to 1,200 students.”

Dr. Mortel started the foundation in 1997 to educate the poor in his homeland.

Now, hundreds of Americans are helping the school grow. Board members say it’s the first organization of its kind to provide every level of education, from pre-school to an adult literacy program. With a twinkle in his eye, Dr.Mortel recalls the first student admitted in 2001. “And now, she’s teaching pre-school in our school system.”

His wife of 45 years, Cecile, says she is very proud of him and the students. Board members are asking for your help. To learn more on how to sponsor the program or join their next trip to Haiti, you can check out their website: www.HighHopesForHaiti.org