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Jason Brisebois - SXM Project Associate

J­­ason Brisebois grew up with the world as his backyard. His father was a civil engineer who travelled to trouble spots with a team specializing in engineering feats that were outside of the norm. Much time was spent in Africa and Sri Lanka and oftentimes, the family ended up in obscure parts of the world surrounded by security forces.     

Due to his up-close childhood experiences with the security profession, he was naturally drawn into that field in his adult military life. While in Afghanistan, he was on an advance team that provided security for high-ranking military and political figures. As a civilian with a travel bug, he continues in this line of work by providing worldwide bodyguard services for celebrities and executives. Crisis management is an extension of that service - and that's what brought him to St. Martin. Hurricane Irma had decimated the island and Jason was on-island within 48 hours of receiving the phone call.

The moment that inspired Jason to get involved with SXM Project occurred as he and his colleague were driving through Sandy Ground surveying damage of the homes they were mapping. The road, blocked by debris, became impassable which forced them to progress on foot. Climbing through the rubble with camera in hand, his penchant for photography operated on auto-pilot as he captured images of the devastation.

He turned a corner then froze. On a storm-battered stool, amid the remains of her home, sat an 80-year-old woman with her head in her hands. His first fleeting thought was the Pulitzer Prize he’d win for the capturing that moment. The camera fell to his side as his eyes noted the pup tent which had become her new home and as he looked back to the woman, he quietly backed away leaving her the dignity of her privacy. She never even knew he was there.

Jason had seen poverty and desperation in third world countries, but nothing had touched him more than this defeated old woman, sitting on that stool privately mourning the scattered remains of her life knowing she had to face the daunting task of rebuilding it. It was in this profound moment that Jason realized he wanted to help the helpless.

Jason volunteered for SXM Project and was a vital part of the team that coordinated the registration of the relief recipients and the logistical framework of the food and relief distribution.