Esthil-Henderson Honored by ISU Alumni Association as a Prestigious STATEment Maker
Ames, Iowa – February 24, 2012 – Haiti native and 2010 ISU graduate Silentor Esthil-Henderson will be one of only 12 young alumni under the age of 32 to be recognized for his accomplishments and contributions to society. Esthil-Henderson will be honored with the Iowa State University Alumni Association’s 2012 STATEment Makers Award on February 24, 2012 in Ames, Iowa.
As a boy growing up in La Croix, Haiti, Esthil-Henderson suffered from a serious infection and was given only six months to live. Out of options, his mother took a leap of faith that would ultimately save his life – she left him on the steps of a Haitian mission. Iowa missionary Tommy Henderson found Esthil-Henderson there, brought him back to Davenport, Iowa to find the best hospital care, and later adopted him. These incredible acts of love and faith from both his mother and adopted father are the reason Esthil-Henderson is able to give back and impact others.
Since receiving his ISU degree, Esthil-Henderson began his outreach working for Teach for America. He then moved full-time to Haiti where he started an outreach program for children, founded a soccer program for young men, and worked with other non-profit organizations to bring opportunity and hope to others. Since becoming In-Country Coordinator for Many Hands for Haiti, an Iowa-based non-profit, Esthil-Henderson has built a church and a well for clean drinking water, hosted various mission teams from the US, and continues to find ways to help the people of Gonaives, Haiti.
Esthil-Henderson now leads Many Hands for Haiti’s campaign, “180 for Haiti,” which will allow locals to build a school and work as teachers and staff for the Gonaives community. This primary education level school will provide 130 children with a head start.
“180 for Haiti” will kick off in Nevada, Iowa on March 3-4 and will be the first of many fundraising efforts to ensure the school can be ready for classes to start in September.
From a boy who started school in the fourth grade without knowing a word of English, to an ISU student who created the Iowa State-Haiti Collaboration to help eliminate poverty in third-world countries, to a recent graduate who returned to Haiti to serve the people of Gonaives, Esthil-Henderson is truly deserving of this year’s prestigious STATEment Maker award.