Importance of Education

Harold Branch III Named Recipient of First “COURAGE IN LEARNING” Award to be presented in Phoenix, Arizona on October 5, 2013 at Gala to Benefit Universal Learning Centre


Harold Branch III Named Recipient of First “COURAGE IN LEARNING” Award to be presented in Phoenix, Arizona on October 5, 2013 at Gala to Benefit Universal Learning Centre

[PHOENIX, ARIZONA – September 10, 2013] Universal Learning Centre (, a not-for-profit organization that builds and sustains library learning centers in developing nations, announces the selection of Harold Branch III, known as “HB,” to receive the first “Courage in Learning” Award at its upcoming Fundraiser Gala to be held in Phoenix, Arizona, on Saturday, October 5, 2013.

HB overcame his mother’s suicide, his father’s abandonment, grew up in one of the most difficult neighborhoods in Chicago, and yet went on to become an internationally recognized poet, speaker and business trainer. Featured in the MTV documentary “Taking a Stand Against Violence: Warning Signs,” HB has showcased his poetry on tour with the Goo Goo Dolls and Sugar Ray, as well as at performances from the U.S. and Canada, to South Africa. Founder of HomeBase: The Poets’ Poetry Set, a biweekly cultural and arts event in Phoenix, Arizona, HB has acted on stage, written poetry and acted in films and regularly hosts “open mic” performances across the nation.

HB exemplifies the notion of courage in learning. He provides an example that you can still learn in adverse conditions. He sets the bar high for future winners of the award,” stated ULC Board Member, Paul Hopkins. “We’re thrilled he will be there in person to accept and we look forward to hearing him speak.

The Gala, an inaugural fundraiser for ULC, will be held at the Phoenix Convention Center, in Phoenix, Arizona, on Saturday, October 5, 2013. A cocktail reception and silent auction featuring Haitian street art will begin at 6:00pm followed by the “Courage in Learning” award presentation, live Skype with ULC staff in Ouanaminthe, Haiti and dinner including a sampling of Haitian food. Community members may register for the event at

Having opened its first site in December 2009, a month prior to the earthquake that devastated Haiti, Universal Learning Centre now has three successfully operating centers, all of which are the first of their kind in their communities. The organization recently opened its first computer and media lab at its largest site in Ouanaminthe, Haiti, and is now working to provide more consistent electricity to the lab.

To donate, or to learn more about Universal Learning Centre, visit or call (480) 273-0404.


About Universal Learning Centre:

Universal Learning Centre (ULC) was founded in 2005 by Jacques M. Jean, his wife, Dana, and a small but passionate board of directors. A Haitian native, Mr. Jean stepped into a library for the first time in his life at age 18 and had a transformational experience. From that point on, his personal mission, and later that of the organization, became providing similar educational resources and learning opportunities to people in developing nations. The organization currently has sites in Pilate, Ferrier and Ouanaminthe, Haiti and in support of its strategic plan, the board, staff and volunteers are working on plans for sites in the Dominican Republic and Jamaica.

ULC is a section 501(c)(3) organization. For more information on how you can help, visit

Media Contacts: Dana M. Jean,

Recipient of "Courage in Learning Award" Selected
Inaugural Fundraising Gala “COURAGE IN LEARNING” to be held in Phoenix, Arizona on October 5, 2013 to benefit Universal Learning Centre