2013 Social Impact Award
Lajeunesse was born and raised in Haiti as the youngest of four children, and comes from the town of Lasource. His mother died when he was a young boy, and his father was a farmer. After a period of time in the Haitian military, Lajeunesse emigrated to the United States in 1989. He is currently an employee of Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey, where he works as a custodian. About this job, he said, “Working at Princeton, you have opportunities to move up to another level and improve yourself economically and socially. Anyone who comes here to work, they take you in with two hands and arms open.” In addition, Lajeunesse holds a night job as a taxi driver and is the father of five children. Lajeunesse is an honorary member of the Princeton undergraduate class of 1998.
Josué Lajeunesse also received the MLK Journey Award for Special Achievement for his work to bring clean drinking water to his family’s village in Haiti. MLK Day Journey Award, from Princeton University, recognizes efforts to continue the journey to achieve Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision. He is an active humanitarian, working to improve the welfare of Lasource’s inhabitants and helped contribute the funds to bring a clean water source closer to the village, whose residents formerly needed to travel to a nearby mountain for water. Currently, he is trying to make water cisterns available to each house so the water is even more accessible. He would also like to provide the village with electricity, in the form of solar panels, and computers.