Our six NPH youth who make up the sixth cohort of the Seattle Institute graduated from the program this past Sunday! We are so proud of the class of 2016-2017: David, Jimmy, Mariela, Roxana, Samuel and Saravia.
At graduation, they each shared a special message to their crowd of supporters, carrying the common theme that this past year was full of personal growth, teamwork, reflecting on what leadership means to them, learning English, gaining new friends and family, and much, much more. It was not always easy, but they leave with beautiful memories, changed hearts and minds, unique goals for the future, and the drive to serve their younger brothers and sisters in the NPH family.
Donna Egge, NPHI Director of Family Services, shared in her message to the graduates that the psychological, social and adaptive growth has been immeasurable among each of them this past year. She added, “Only you inside can know the depth and the profound growth in your experience here.”
It became clear through the graduates’ speeches that the relationships they formed in Seattle and the support that they felt along the way made an incredible impact on their growth.
Jimmy Garcia, graduate from NPH Nicaragua, shared his gratitude with his homestay family and community of supporters, “Finally, I want to thank all of you kind people who supported me in my weaknesses, and the people who felt proud of me in my strengths…I definitely appreciate you all, and will carry you with me when I am home in Nicaragua.”
Jacqueline Shrader, director of the program, applauded the graduates for a meaningful, challenging and fruitful year, and thanked the community and homestay families, quoting, “It takes a village.” Donna expressed on behalf of the graduates’ crowd of supporters, “We here in Seattle and in the Northwest, we will always be your second home, or as Samuel said, ‘your family’.”
We are proud of each and every one of our students – for rising to the occasion and giving this opportunity their very best. They will return to their countries, each on a unique path in life, whether it be continuing university or working, or both, all with the desire to support their NPH family.
Father Jack Walmesley led mass prior to the graduation ceremony, and he asked the graduates to hold on to this message: “What you have learned from your host families, what you have learned in your own countries, what you have learned from one another, don’t hide it. Never hide it, never hide it. The world needs to see it.”
To learn more about our Seattle Institute program, visit this blog.
NPHI Family Services