Ohio State Mansfield Homecoming King Gives Back in Mission Trips to Haiti
Mansfield, OH -- A trip to another country may mean rest and relaxation for some, but not for Wyatt Clemens, a student-athlete, and 2017 Mansfield Campus homecoming king. Clemens, who is studying social work, has traveled to Haiti on dozens of mission trips.
He knows that to better himself he must be selfless. That’s the same motto that brought him to study social work at The Ohio State University at Mansfield and to volunteer his time for those less fortunate in Haiti.
Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. More than 80 % of its population lives in poverty and as much as 60 % of the population is unemployed or underemployed.
Clemens mission trips have helped build churches, bring supplies, and offer support to the people of Haiti. “I first began taking the trip in 8th grade. In the past I took the trip with my dad and brother, but now I travel on my own. I just fell in love with the people there,” he explains.
Clemens and his church group spend several weeks in a compound, driving about 30-35 minutes to the many different areas they are working. Their days are spent tirelessly working to build the foundation for churches, from the ground up, all while developing relationships with the community members.
The past few years Clemens says they have been helping teach some of the Haitian natives the English language. “We teach everyone from very young children to people in their 50’s and 60’s.” He continues, “What strikes me is how excited they are to learn. We set up a classroom with a chalkboard and bring school supplies. The Haitians show up eager to learn a new language.”
Serving in Haiti has also provided valuable experience applicable to his study of social work. “They do not have children services or anything like that in Haiti. So my dream would be to move there and bring support to those in need,” he explains.
During one of his many trips, Clemens became very ill. He did not realize that illness would lead him to an opportunity of a lifetime. He recalls, “I had a terrible stomachache. I thought maybe I could sleep it off. Instead, I woke up with cold sweats.”
Luckily, it was the same year the group completed a medical clinic. Medicine was shipped to Haiti from the United States. Clemens was able to be treated with some of the medicine. However, he needed to be travel back to the United States to see a doctor.
The leader of his church’s trip and another pastor were traveling to Porta Prince that day, so he was able to take a ride with them to get a flight back home. However, they needed to make one stop. “It turns out they were meeting with the President of Haiti to hold a church service for him. I was able to be a part of that service and meet the President,” Clemens reminisces. Soon after, he departed Haiti back to Ohio.
Clemens plans to continue his trips to Haiti. He will be heading back in March for spring break, and he plans to spend the entire summer helping the people of Haiti.
Currently a junior at The Ohio State University at Mansfield, he plans to receive his Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work, one of 10 Bachelor’s degrees students can complete on the Mansfield campus.