Campbellsville University students affected by Haiti earthquake

March 10, 2010
For Immediate Release

By Matt Oliver, Campus Times student news writer

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Multiple earthquakes and aftershocks in Haiti in January that left more than 100,000 dead and a million people injured or homeless have affected three Campbellsville University student-athletes — Daphilo Succes, Karl Charles and Jordan Cornett.

Cornett, a sophomore softball player, had a good friend who lived in Haiti and was killed by the earthquake.
Succes and Charles lived in Gonaives, Haiti before moving to Belle Glade, Fla. Charles lived in Haiti in 1997 and Succes lived there in 1998. Both of their families believed it would be a great opportunity for education, jobs and their overall life to move to the United States.

“It was weird,” said Charles, a junior football player. “I thought I was living the life (in Haiti).” He lived in a big house in Haiti, and his family owned more than one property and horses.

Succes’ mom worked in a retirement home and his dad worked in construction.

“I was scared when I first moved to Florida,” said Succes, a sophomore wrestler. “I spoke fluent Creole and didn’t have any friends.”

Charles remembers seeing United States helicopters flying over and dropping off food to Haiti in 1994 during the nation’s change of power. After this he has always loved the United States and believed that Americans are good people.
Both of these young men have many family members who live in Haiti. All of Charles’ and Succes’ family members, including Succes’ 114-year-old great-grandmother and his 80-year-old grandfather survived.

Cornett’s friend, Alex, who she met last summer on a mission trip, was killed by the earthquake in Port-au-Prince. After hearing this, Cornett felt she had to do something about it.

“I was really shocked. I was really upset I didn’t think it could affect me like this,” Cornett said.

She and senior basketball player Kristi Ensminger are going to Haiti this summer on a mission trip.

“I was supposed to see him this summer,” Cornett said. “I felt I could either be really sad about what happened or help to do something about it.”

Cornett and Ensminger joined with softball player Alex Jane Clemmons and women’s basketball player Courtney Danis to lead a Hoops for Haiti drive Jan. 21 in the Powell Athletic Center. The event brought in more than 140 jars of peanut butter and more than $400.

Wrestlers Matt David and Brandon Sellers also worked to raise donations at CU’s home wrestling meet on Jan 29. Drop boxes for donations for Haiti will remain on campus at the grill and Starbucks and also in the community at Cafe Bonin and Jeff’s Food Mart. The drive is sponsored by the student-athlete organized Bible study, Crazy Love, whose mission for the new year is to be more service-minded.

Succes and Charles were pleased to hear about Crazy Love’s efforts to help out Haiti with donations. This has helped unite Cornett and Ensminger as friends with Succes.

The three got together at CU’s men’s basketball game on Feb. 4 to talk about their common bond. Succes offered to teach them a little bit of Creole to use while over in Haiti. The nation’s common language is a mixture of French, Spanish and African dialect.

“It is good to see. They need it out there man,” Succes said.

“God will bless them for this,” said Charles.

Both Haitian natives stressed not to donate straight to the government of Haiti due to corruption, but to donate directly to orphanages in Haiti as well charities such as Wyclef Jean’s charity, Yele Haiti or Baptist Global Response, which Crazy Love used.    They also stress that what Haiti needs the most over donations and food is prayer.

“Pray that everything will become better,” Charles said.

Cornett and Ensminger are still going to Haiti this summer on a mission trip, and they both cannot wait.

They both said they want to show love to the children and help out with the relief efforts.

Succes and Charles, while hoping to go to Haiti, are simply offering a message through their native language.

Karl Charles – “Merci pour toute donation ou.”
English translation: “Thank you for all your donations.”

Daphilo Succes – “Ker mwen fermme male pou nou paske de tan ki sot pas a. Mwen conin nou pase anpil mizer, men on jou tout bagay ap vin egal. Mwen ran mersi tout moun ki ede nou yo. tou american yo ki ede nou nan tan an. bondieu deni yo. E boundiue ap veye nou epi lap beni nou tou.”
English translation: “I feel bad for the storm that went thorough Haiti. I know that you all will suffer a lot through the earthquake. One day everything is going to be fine, just as it was before. I say thanks to everyone who supported us, such as the Americans. God bless them all. God is watching over you guys out there and also he will bless us.”

Campbellsville University is a private, comprehensive institution located in South Central Kentucky. Founded in 1906, Campbellsville University is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention and has an enrollment of 3,006 students who represent 97 Kentucky counties, 30 states and 37 foreign nations. Listed in U.S.News & World Report’s 2010 “America’s Best Colleges,” CU is ranked 23rd in “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” in the South, tied for fifth in “most international students” and fourth in “up-and-coming” schools in baccalaureate colleges in the South. CU has been ranked 17 consecutive years with U.S.News & World Report. The university has also been named to America’s Best Christian Colleges® and to G.I. Jobs magazine as a Military Friendly School. Campbellsville University is located 82 miles southwest of Lexington, Ky., and 80 miles southeast of Louisville, Ky. Dr. Michael V. Carter is in his 11th year as president.


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