Verdier, Jean Emmanuel for webDivine Word College student awarded fellowship at United Nations Youth Assembly

October 9, 2014 – Jean Emmanuel Verdier, a junior from Haiti attending Divine Word College, has been named a Resolution Fellow by the Resolution Project, based in New York City. Selected from a field of 27 qualifying delegates who competed for the fellowship at the U.N. Youth Assembly in New York City, on Aug. 8, he has now completed the required documentation and qualifies for monetary and expert support to realize his dream of providing fresh water to Carrefour Thomas, a village in southern Haiti.

"That’s a very poor area, people drink water from a contaminated river, they get cholera and they die," said Verdier, who was invited to attend the youth assembly as one of 550 delegates from around the world.

The Resolution Project is a non-profit organization dedicated to developing socially responsible young leaders. The fellowships support young entrepreneurs who want to pursue their ideas to improve the human condition. Today, there are Resolution Fellows in 44 countries.

"It’s a lifetime fellowship and we provide mentorship, seed funding, and access to a suite of pro-bono service providers," said George Tsiatis, president and co-founder of the organization. For more information on the Resolution Project and the fellowship, go to: www.resolutionproject.org

In 2012, Verdier heard of the growing cholera epidemic in his homeland. Using money he saved from a summer job along with donations from a group in Dubuque, he made his way to the village during Christmas vacation that year. Taking five-gallon buckets and water-purification tablets, he showed the people how to purify their water. Later he learned of the better way to help the village.Jean Emmanuel   Carrfour for web

"I want to drill a well," Verdier said. "Before, giving people tablets was a short-term solution, but now it’s going to be a long-term solution because they will have the well, and the water is going to be clean."

Based in Epworth, Iowa, Divine Word College is a Roman Catholic seminary in the tradition of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD), which educates men and women for missionary service as priests, brothers, sisters and laypersons. For this purpose, it offers an education that combines spiritual formation, a liberal arts curriculum, language learning and mission preparation within an environment that teaches and honors the rich cultural diversity of the world. For more information about Verdier's project or Divine Word College, contact Sandy Wilgenbush at wilgenbu@dwci.edu.