Ebenson Verdule '14
Ebenson Verdule graduated with a B.S. in civil engineering from the College of Computing, Engineering and Construction in 2014. Shortly after, he started Mercy Land Orphanage, Inc.
to provide housing, a school and a clinic for orphans in his native city of Port-de-Paix, Haiti.
His incredible journey to UNF began when he was rescued off the streets by his aunt after spending four years of his childhood homeless. He then started his education at 12, where he excelled and moved to the United States at 16. Education offered Verdule a new life path and a chance to make an impact on the lives of others.
"My experience at UNF helped me to think outside the box," Verdule said. "If there was one important thing that I learned it was team work; learning how to work within a group towards a common goal."
For Verdule that goal became the calling he felt to help other children from Haiti. Studying civil engineering was a means to learn the necessary infrastructure to build Mercy Land, and as a student at UNF and co-op with JEA, he worked with other students and faculty members to convert donated shipping containers into what became residences for Haitian orphans.
"I recently quit my job with JEA to pursue a full-time calling with Mercy Land as a missionary. I get to use my engineering skills to help sustain and develop three villages in Port-de-Paix while saving street children from abandonment, sex trafficking, slavery and harsh misery," Verdule said. "I help design most of the components for the orphanage and other local projects."
Through Mercy Land, Verdule also started the "Victory Scholars" program to help children in Haiti receive the same opportunities in education he did.
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