More Than Just a Paycheck

By J1 Reporter Emily Diesing

Melissa Brusnahan, an athletic trainer for Marian, has opened the eyes of others by giving women in Haiti a voice through their art. “Sa Voix” is the French phrase for her voice. With the help of Brusnahan, artisan women of Haiti are getting more than just a paycheck.

Sa Voix is a project that allows the artisan women of Port au Prince, Haiti their voice in community by creating and designing products such as purses, totes, wallets, and keychains as well as many other colorfully eye-catching designs. The purpose of this project is to allow women in Haiti a voice and individual growth by facilitating learning experiences and to create a community to support and encourage others, according to their website at

Brusnahan and her junior daughter, Melanie, learned about this project through a few relatives of theirs. One relative is a designer, while another taught Haitian women how to sew. This led to Brusnahan’s  inspired involvement in making a difference in the women of Haiti’s lives.

 “I just thought that this was an overall cool concept. I loved that it is more than just a paycheck for these women, it teaches women to empower and succeed in the world,” said Brusnahan. She loved that being able to help empower these women is much like Marian’s vision of empowering its students to strive to excellence.


Photo Courtesy of senior Maddie Robertson

On Sunday, Nov. 4 the Brusnahans hosted a successful event at Marian supporting this cause. Prices range from $15 for a marbled leather keychain to $46 for a marbled leather clutch. They set up a pop-up shop in Marian’s quad with the products that told the powerful story of the Haitian women. Brusnahan explained that she wished more people would have been able to come support this cause. Many products were purchased at the event. However, since some people were not able to make it on that date, Melanie set up a booth with the products during lunch during school. Brusnahan says she hopes to support this cause even more in the future.

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