For the seventh year in a row, I had the privilege of attending the annual PathLight graduation celebration (one virtually due to Covid travel restrictions). This was a bittersweet trip for me, as it marks my last official trip serving on staff with PathLight. It has been a true joy working with our Board these past seven years, and seeing the tremendous growth and impact PathLight has made in Belize. And none of this would have been possible if not for the generosity and trust from you, our donors. Thank you!
The graduation celebration was held on Saturday afternoon, June 11th at LifeNet Church in Belmopan. I was joined by a group of enthusiastic sponsors, proud parents, professional staff, and special guest speaker Minister of State Hon Louis Zabaneh. PathLight Belize celebrated 28 student graduates (17 females and 11 males) from secondary school and 1 female student from an Associates Degree program at the University of Belize. Also recognized were 12 students who had completed PathLight’s robust Leadership Initiative program.
Hon Dr. Zabaneh acknowledged the collaboration and partnership between the Belize Ministry of Education, Culture, Science, and Technology, and PathLight. He praised the graduates for overcoming tremendous challenges, and reminded them that because of PathLight’s robust Spiritual Formation and Character Development programming, they had become the kind of ethical and moral leaders Belize desperately needs.
Executive Director Adele Catzim-Sanchez recited a long list of organizational accomplishments in the past year alone. She also enthusiastically told of the opening of PathLight’s brand new full service Student and Teacher Education Center in Orange Walk.
I had the honor of giving the final blessing to the graduates, reminding them of the challenge from country western singer Tim McGraw, to “always be humble and kind.”
And that’s exactly why these young adults will make such an impact on Belize. They have accomplished something that less than 50% of Belizeans are able to — finishing High School. Many of them are the first person in their family to do so. Along the way, they grew to be young men and women of integrity, who are honest, trustworthy, responsible, and faithful. They have been empowered to break the cycle of generational poverty that for many is far too common. They will be leaders in their homes, their communities, their businesses, and their country.
And that, is something to truly celebrate! Please join me in giving an enthusiastic “Congratulations!” to our PathLight 2022 Graduates. May God continue to direct their steps, and shine His light on their path.
Rev. Dr. Roger Dermody
P.S. As I move on to my next call, a large part of my heart will forever be in Belize. Our family continues to sponsor four amazing students — each of whom will be graduating next June. We look forward to attending the graduation celebration again next year, and hope many of you will join us.