Help Send Steeve from Haiti to USI

As you may know, our family is sponsoring a young Haitian named Steeve Jean.  Steeve has recently graduated High School, and we are trying to help him come to USI in the fall. We plan to have him start in the English as a Second Language program at USI on September 15, 2012.  The cost of the program is just over $20,000.  USI is not able to assist with the cost for the first year of ESL, however, with good grades, they are willing to commit to assist with his 2nd -5th year at USI.   My mission is to collect $5,000.  I have a matching grant that will match up to $5,000. 


Steeve Jean is 18 years old and resides in Plaine du Nord, Haiti, a city with a population of approximately 20,000.  He was raised by his mother until about two years ago, when she died suddenly  of an undiagnosed illness.  Steeve now lives with 8 other individuals, mostly extended family, in a very modest house of approximately 400 square feet.  The photo on this page is taken in front of the Kitchen where Steeve's family lives.  Steeve is an active member of  St. James Parish, where he has attended parish schools for the past 12 years.  He recently graduated 13th grade.   Steeve is considered extremely intelligent and likeable by his pastor, classmates, teachers, and school administrators.  He consistently excels in the Haitian educational system.  Steeve's pastor at St. James Parish stated that Steeve is "the brightest" student in the school.  While Steeve speaks French and Creole fluently, his English is limited.  Last November, I was able to spend a week with him in Plaine du Nord.   Steeve shared with me that, if he had the opportunity to be anything in life, he'd like to be a physician.


Because of the oppressive conditions in which Haitians find themselves, including very limited educational opportunities, it has long been the dream of those traveling there to break that cycle of oppression by beginning with such capable students as Steeve.  Since illiteracy is the norm in Haiti, Plaine du Nord offers almost no role models who are well educated.  The lack of most any advanced education handicaps the ability of Haitians to improve their own plight.  Because they can't fend for themselves, their potential is limited, and most tend to be relegated to lives of eking out an existence for themselves and their families from the earth, while suffering from illnesses for which they have little defense because of the scarcity of health care and medicines.  Steeve will return to Haiti when he completes his education and we are convinced that this young man will not only personally benefit from his education at USI, but his home community and country will as well.    

I would consider it an honor that you would consider blessing Steeve Jean with a contribution to fund his education at the University of Southern Indiana.  Any donation you can make to help us make this a reality for Steeve will be much appreciated.  I look forward to the opportunity to personally introducing him to you in the near future.

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Jim Riordan 
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