Scholarship students graduate from High School

By June 27, 2018 September 11th, 2019 No Comments

In 2014, we asked visitors and volunteers if they would be willing to provide a high school scholarship to a graduating primary school student.

Not all made it – some lost sponsors due to changing finances, some had babies, some moved to other places, some simply could not overcome the many challenges – academic and personal –  that are thrown at high school aged children. But last weekend, we had the privilege of sharing in the joy and pride that three of our generous donors felt as they watched their scholarship students graduated.

We are grateful to the many, many people who have supported these students and helped them succeed.

Small change for big change

Faye and Dan have been visiting Holy Cross School for many years. With the help of her church, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Valparaiso, IN, they gave scholarships to Antu and Kenya.

Her church congregation donated their spare change to provide the scholarships. “For each of the four years, we set up collections of spare change. The first was ‘Small Change for a Big Change’. This was followed by ‘Change is in Your Pocket’ and ‘Change for the Future.’ Finally is was ‘Help Change the Tassel.'”

Faye was teaching a writing lesson when she first met Antu. “Most students began writing immediately, but not him. He sat quietly, scratched his head and chewed on his pencil. Later, when reading through the essay, I found that his was exceptional.”

Kenya’s sponsorship was due to her evident potential but also her sweet nature and winning smile. She was engaging and showed perseverance with her school work.

As they were regularly travelling to Belize, Faye and Dan were fortunate enough to be able to see both Antu and Kenya almost every year and got to know their families. When Kenya left the island, Faye and Dan continued to support her through school on the mainland.

Faye and Dan timed their trip this year to coincide with graduation. “Antu’s graduation from SPHS was very special to us. I was overwhelmed and moved to tears when he handed me a rose in thanksgiving for sponsoring him. He and Kenya are so very special to our entire congregation.”

“Antu and Kenya’s parent have always expressed their deep gratitude for sponsoring their children and have become friends we expect to have long after their children graduate from college. Antu intends to go to Jr.College in Corozal to study science and Kenya plans to go to Sacred Heart Jr. College in San Ignacio.”

Faye and Dan stayed on in Belize for a week following graduation to help out at the school, and Antu and Kenya lent a hand.

Persevering through tough times

Janet had volunteered at Holy Cross on two vacations, and on her second trip agreed to sponsor a student. She chose Alex from a list of names and photos, without having met him before.
Alex’s time in high school was tough as his family grappled with a variety of medical crises. But thanks to the scholarship, he could afford to stay in school. Janet reflects “A lot has happened to my student in the 4 years that I was sponsoring him.  We became friends and chatted online quite often.  I definitely pushed him when it came to his grades.  In his second year at high school, I met him for dinner. Last year – his third year – I took his family out for pizza and was invited to their house for dinner, as well.  On my trip down for graduation, I, again was invited over for dinner the night before graduation.  I have been welcomed into his family and even correspond with his mother. I’m also supporting his younger sister through high school.”
She says that Alex has always thanked her and let know how lucky he was to have her in this life. He wrote a beautiful thank you note saying how the she motivated him to do better and help others.
“At graduation, it was just like being with family.  I sat with Alex’s mom during the ceremony and when  the mothers were given a rose during the graduation she said “half of this is yours” to me. After the ceremony we all went to their house to celebrate with family and cake.”
Alex helps to support his family by working at Tropic Air in an apprenticeship and hopes to still become an engineer.  “We will definitely keep in touch.”

The first step to medical school

Mr Bob of St Luke’s Episcopal Church in Durham, North Carolina has been on many mission trips to Holy Cross. Mr Bob noticed Arianie’s potential when he was doing math for Standard 5. He wanted to see her fulfill it.

He met Arianie a number of times on the St. Luke’s trips. But his trip down for graduation was the first time that his wife Mary Jane had a chance to meet Arianie in person (although they had met via email many times). They hit it off from the very beginning.
They spent time with Arianie and her family over the gradation weekend, and had Arianie, her mother, and her grandmother join them for dinner.
Arianie has big plans for her life. She will be going to Junior College on the mainland for the next two years. Beyond that, she has plans for a year off to work, then university, and ultimately medical school.  St. Luke’s Church is helping her start her journey with a $500 USD scholarship.

You can sponsor a student, too

Each year we offer scholarships to our primary school students, as well as the top few primary school graduates who we think have the potential to persevere through high school. If you are interested to find out more, click here, then contact us to find out more.