By Sisters Jane Bonar & Catherine Burke
The weekend of June 13-14 saw the graduation of five students, all whom have been recipients of the Nano Nagle scholarship fund in the U.S. Unit. Each one comes from challenging family situations. Here is a brief synopsis of their stories:
Melanie, now graduating from the 8th grade at San Miguel School, started life having her father shot dead while she was in her mother’s womb. We had been at her parent’s wedding a year earlier and then had the sorrow of attending her father’s funeral watching her 8-month pregnant mother crying over his casket. We can began paying Melanie’s tuition at San Miguel School when she began kindergarten, thanks to the Nano Nagle Scholarship Fund. When Melanie was in 5th grade, her mother was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer. The thought of losing her mother as well as her father was very traumatic for Melanie. Thankfully, her mother has survived and is doing well after chemotherapy and radiation. It was a huge joy to see Melanie graduate from San Miguel School this past weekend.
Another recipient of the fund, Ambar, graduated from St. Pius/Matthias high school this past weekend. Ambar’s grandmother, our sewing teacher at the Learning Center for the past 20 years, brought Ambar to our babysitting program at the Center when Ambar was only a month old. Ambar is the first in her family to graduate high school and did so with honors. She is enrolled at California State University Long Beach for the fall semester. She is the hope of her family.
Chris, who graduated from San Miguel School this past weekend, wants to become an architect when he grows up so that he can build a house for his parents. Their very small and run-down house is nonetheless a happy home where we have been to many celebrations. He will attend Verbum Dei High School in the fall, thanks to the Nano Nagle Scholarship Fund.
Liszeth is a young woman in our neighborhood who just graduated from our local public high school. She exudes joy and confidence and has volunteered as an ESL teacher in our night school all during her high school years. She is enrolled at California State University Los Angeles for the fall semester.
We are very proud of all these students. Their parents are immigrants from Mexico, most of them undocumented. They came to this country to give their children a better life, and they are happily seeing their dreams come true. Thank you, sisters in the U.S. Unit, for helping these and many other students over the past years succeed by giving them the Nano Nagle Scholarship Fund.