Pictures tell a tale of devastation in Haiti.
"Before the earthquake, Haiti was a poor country. After the earthquake, it because very poor," said Cenat Esperandieu, one of the students.
And seemingly a tale of desperation. "I just stood up and said 'God save me,'" said Canes Camil, another one of the students.
But to three Haitians, the pictures now tell a tale of hope. "I have a big dream for Haiti," said Cenat.
Cenat Esperandieu, Canes Camil, and Pierre Louis Joizil were studying in Haiti when the earthquake hit.
"Primary and secondary schools were destroyed," said Pierre Louis.
Their college was no exception. "They find classrooms," said Siena physics professor, Dr. Tom Coohill, "Where everyone was crushed including the professor."
They were one year shy of a degree; all three, left with incomplete dreams. Until Doctor Tom, and his wife Doctor Pat, stepped in.
"She said, 'why don't you bring those kids to Siena?'" recalled Dr. Coohill. He met the men a year earlier, while visiting his former teachers in Haiti.
"They run a house in Port au Prince for young men from the boonies who can't afford to go to school because they have no place to live," said Dr.Coohill. "I came home and told my wife what wonderful people."
Wonderful people who are now turned family, as each works to complete his education. It's an opportunity that some would see as a ticket out. But for the three it's a ticket back home.
"My plan is to build a school in Haiti," said Pierre Louis.
"My big project is to open an orphanage when I go back. I want to take care of the kids. The kids are the future for a country," said Cenat.
"To rebuild the country, people have to rebuild the mind and the mind will change to see the way they have to rebuild the country," said Canes.
Their country, is different than their temporary home, where there is KFC, 49 cent ice cream cones and snow.
"We went to Six Flags and saw all the roller coasters. I thought 'why do people take risks with their life?' But, I did it too," said Canes.
They are learning silly lessons in the U.S., but long lasting, life changing ones too.
"There's no discrimination, everyone can do something, everyone has a place," said Cenat.
And mix those strengths with the resilience at home.
"We provide books for our students," said Pierre Louis.
Back in Haiti, education isn't free. But at his neighborhood school, Pierre Louis is already working to change that. He hopes to share what he's learned in American classrooms with young kids at home.
"They have tutors for the students I want to bring that," said Pierre Louis. "And have computers so every student can use the computer."
Spend five minutes with the three men, and you start to believe too.
"When Pierre Louis goes back and builds his school it will make a difference, when Cenat builds his orphanage it will make a difference, when Canes builds everything it will make a difference," said Dr. Coohill.
Out of extreme pain, these men are finding strength and inspiration. "We are the hope of Haiti," said Pierre Louis.
Out of complete destruction, they are planning to build a future. "If everybody can do something, help five people, hands together you can do something," said Cenat.
Siena is paying for the three men's tuition and they are staying with Dr. Coohill and his wife until they are done in May and go back to Haiti.