A Few Reflections from This Year's 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 2016. Seventeen high school seniors and their families were joined by four 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 Gideon, 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 Katelyn Mack, Jose Perna, Scott and Becky Townsend 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. The final night we joined what felt like the entire city attending the public graduation ceremonies at The University of Belize in Belmopan - a truly wonderful cultural experience. 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
"Meeting Edgar and his dad was absolutely the highlight of being a sponsor. They expressed such gratitude and pride, and shared how Edgar had persevered to come to this day. The road to graduation wasn't easy. There were nights of completing homework by candlelight and getting help from PathLight staff for challenging subjects. Dion, Dennis, and the other PathLight staff pour their hearts into these kids. Edgar's resilience, kindness, and hope was evidence of their unwavering commitment to supporting him and his classmates through many difficult life circumstances. I hope all PathLight sponsors have a chance to meet the amazing youth they support, and the 'irreplaceable' (a student's words) PathLight staff who walk with them every step of the way."
- Katelyn Mack, PathLight Board Member
Congratulations PathLight Class of 2016!
Like Gideon, 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 me be a small part of that journey.