D. Verne Sharma Has Joined PathLight International's Board of Directors

PathLight International is pleased to announce that D. Verne Sharma has joined the Board of Directors. After completing his MBA at Wharton, Mr. Sharma worked at the global management consulting firm of McKinsey & Company, then served in senior management positions at GE Medical Systems, US Surgical Corp, and Summit Technology. He recently retired from his role as CEO and Chairman of RxSight, Inc., based in Aliso Viejo, CA. Mr. Sharma was born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago, where he met his wife, Aurora. They currently split their time between Trinidad and Miami.

“I am thrilled to be invited to join the PathLight Board,” said Verne. “My visit to Belize last year was a unique opportunity for me to see the organization’s work first hand, and I could not be more excited to join this outstanding effort to educate and uplift children and their local communities in Belize. I look forward to working with Roy, Roger, and the PathLight team to fulfill our mission of bringing the love of Christ to and having real impact on the lives of people."

Roy Goble, co-founder of PathLight and current Board Chair, said, “Having Verne join our small organization will help us think bigger and operate more wisely. His experience with large corporate organizations, along with his deep faith and understanding of the Caribbean culture, will provide the wisdom and experience we need to take PathLight to the next level. I’m honored he would join PathLight.”

Verne and Aurora attended Bel Air Presbyterian Church when they lived in Los Angeles, and they remember Roger Dermody as the Executive Pastor. Roger said, “It was great to reconnect with Verne when we visited Belize together last year. I look forward to working with him in our effort to bring hope to the children of Belize.”

Click here to find out who else is on the PathLight Board of Directors.

A Few Reflections From Our 2017 Graduation

"Pride and humility. Eagerness and reserve. Finality and new beginnings. Improbability and hope. These words only begin to describe the range of emotion witnessed and personally encountered last week. I was privileged to attend and participate in the graduation celebration of the PathLight class of 2017. Thirteen graduates, ten high school seniors, two vocational school and one university student and their families were joined by nine PathLight S+ sponsors for a special evening of celebration, music, awards, affirmation, reflection and fine dining at Jaguar Creek.

For our students, this is a truly momentous occasion. Most are the first person in their family to ever graduate from High School.

Now open to each of them are choices they never would have had otherwise. Our Biblical reflection that evening was taken from the story of Moses, who was called out of unlikely circumstances to be a leader of God's people, and to achieve something incredible with God's help. I'm certain that this truth is totally appropriate for our students. Each of them have come out of seemingly hopeless circumstances. Each of them have been mentored by our incredible Belizean staff. Each of them have grown in their faith. Each of them are a clearer reflection of the character of Christ, and each of them have been given the tools to be a part of changing the entire country of Belize. 

Visiting sponsors Paula, Steve, Kathleen, Lindsey and Josh were able to go to the homes and meet the student and the family they have helped over the past four years, and celebrate with them. Many tears of gratitude were shed, and simple gifts of food and hospitality were shared. “If you are an S+ Sponsor, you need to be on this trip. Every S+ Sponsor needs to plan to come to Belize for the graduation festivities when the time comes for your sponsored student to graduate. It will mean the world to them, and it will forever change you." 

– Roger Dermody, PathLight CEO

"It was so fun to meet Ana. She is beautiful in so many ways. I cannot imagine how proud her family is of her. Ana has persevered, reaching this important milestone with the help of all of us who are on her team.

She told me that she cannot believe that she has been able to come this far; and the best is yet to come! For now she pauses, catching her breath before her education continues. And then there will be new challenges. But she is ready, and I have been so blessed to contribute in such a small way to insure Ana’s present and future success. It IS up to her, but she could not have done it without PathLight."

– Steve Madsen, Lead Pastor of Cornerstone Fellowship, Ana's Sponsor

Congratulations PathLight Class of 2017!

Like Moses, God has called you out of unlikely circumstances into leadership, and to do something amazing with God's help. You already have done something truly amazing! Thank you for letting PathLight be a part of that journey.

Seven Springs Rotary Awarded International Grant for Training of Teachers, Principals in Belize

Thanks to a major humanitarian grant from the Rotary Foundation, local community members will travel to Belize this summer to assist PathLight International in efforts to train educators and stock a local media resource center with books and other educational supplies.

The grant, awarded to the Seven Springs Rotary Club, will allow for over $100,000 to go towards the project, spearheaded by the Club's Director of lnternational Projects and former faculty member of Pasco-Hernando State College, Dr. David Barzelay.

The project includes a general training program for 250 teachers and 50 principals, respectively, in the capital city of Belmopan and in Belize City for a total of 600 Belizean professional educators trained. The project also would create specialized training for the Belizean principals on classroom management, best practices and critical thinking skills.

The successful partnership also includes the Belize Ministry of Education and PathLight International, a nonprofit organization. The project will use a "Teacher Training" model developed by PathLight, in bringing well-qualified US teachers to Belize to train a cadre of Belizean teachers who will pass the training along to the next generation.