Celebrating Graduates and Academic Success
Receiving a great education at NPH.
July 24, 2012 - Mexico
Every July at Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos™ Mexico, we celebrate our children that are graduating from pre-school, elementary school, middle school, and high school. It is a joyous time of the year as we have so much to celebrate. Each graduate is a success story and a reason for celebration.
First, we celebrate our smallest graduates who graduate from pre-school. It will be their first accomplishment of many to come. It is an exciting moment to see the children, who arrived at our home when they were one or two years old, accepting their pre-school diplomas. They have flourished during their young and formative years at NPH. These graduates have learned colors, numbers, the ABC's, and they also have had English class. With wide gaping grins and toothy smiles, they are now ready to start elementary school and continue learning and growing.
One of our pre-school graduates receives her diploma after performing a ballet graduation dance.
Our elementary and middle school graduates have a mixture of excitement and nervousness for the changes that the next school year will bring. Our elementary school graduates will begin middle school, and take on the challenge of harder subjects and the opportunity to study one of four technical specialties. They will leave behind a part of their childhood, but are ready to be seen as the young teenagers they are becoming. Our middle school graduates have even more changes and challenges on the horizon. After their graduation, they will pack their things and make the big move to the city of Cuernavaca, where our high school is located. They will say goodbye to middle school classmates, teachers, and the many caregivers who have loved and cared for them over the years in Casa San Salvador. It is a big transition, but one that will bring them better opportunities in the future. As one middle school graduate stated, she felt “an immense happiness at her accomplishment and having overcome challenges.” Another stated that he was proud to be starting another academic level and although he is anxious about moving to Cuernavaca, he feels like a young adult who is well-prepared for high school.
Our high school graduates are proof of the great education they have received at NPH. They received technical degrees in the areas of electronics, childcare, computer programming, accounting, and tourism. Our students were recognized for their academic accomplishments, and especially two of our electronics students who earned first place in a recent state-wide robotics competition! Many of our high school graduates grew up at NPH. It was truly beautiful to see Fr. Philip Cleary turning the tassels on the caps of these now young adults who he once carried in his arms. The joy and pride at their accomplishment was beyond words.
Many of our high school graduates have family members present at their high school graduation, which is both a reminder of the reason our children came to NPH and testament how much NPH has changed and shaped the lives of our children. One graduate’s mother was radiant at her son's accomplishment. Her husband died in a construction accident when their son was three months old and she was unable to provide for him. Her son spent the early part of his life in government institutions as was placed in NPH when he was in middle school. Once he arrived at NPH, he excelled in school. His high school graduation was such a special moment and his mother told him, “If your father were here he would be very proud of his son.” Two of our other graduates came to NPH when they were ages 5 and 10 because their mothers were incarcerated. Now, many years later, both of their mothers have been rehabilitated and were able to see their daughters graduate from high school. If it were not for NPH, this day may have never been possible. In difficult times, these parents found the support of an organization that not only would care for their children when they were unable, but that emphasized a Catholic upbringing, strong values, and education as a tool to overcome poverty. Our high school graduates really enjoyed their day! They spent it in the company of family members, ex-volunteers who returned to celebrate the occasion, and the caregivers who have been at their side for the last three years.
NPH Mexico also celebrated one more special graduation this month as one of our young adults graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the Red Cross in Cuernavaca. Guadalupe has worked very hard over the last four years, and we are so proud of her accomplishments. She studied childcare at NPH's high school, worked in the clinic during her years of service, and she now spends her weekends as a volunteer nurse at our clinic. Guadalupe has a big heart and it shows. Not only does she support the NPH clinic in Mexico, this month she will be participating in a medical brigade trip to NPH Honduras! We are so proud of Guadalupe. In the coming year, she will give a year of required social service as a nurse to communities in need. We know she will do great work where ever she is assigned. Just like the symbolic lamp she was given at her graduation ceremony, she will be a light of hope to all whom she serves.
NPH would especially like to thank Leo and Mary Lou Hundt for their generous and heart-felt support for all of our graduates and the investment they have made in their futures.