Alice Keyes was a high school teacher and school counselor during the 2013-2014 academic, and served as Karla’s mentor-tutor. During her time in Gracias, Alice formed a wonderful, impactful relationship with the entire family and continues to be a resource, support and friend of OFH. She shares her story below:
“The sound of raucous laughter comes along with my first memories of the Ramirez children. Sergio, Ada, and Karla had discovered the hammock out in the garage and Estefany had picked up my umbrella. She had figured out how to open it and quickly made it become a bright yellow whirl as she twirled round ‘n round with it, giggling uproariously. It was in that moment, looking at the joy filled scene, I realized I wanted to get to know them more.
As a Tutor-Mentor with OFH this past year I was given the opportunity to do just that. I held a front row seat on the ride up to the highs, down to the lows, and the journey in between.
Karla managed to persevere in school following an appendicitis which caused her to miss a significant number of days. She got involved in extracurricular activities, such as Girl Scouts, and found a caring group of friends. She successfully completed her second year at Minerva Bilingual School.
Sergio successfully integrated into his classroom and now has a couple of boys he calls ‘good friends’. His own person diligence, and help from many others is paying off, and he is excelling in his classes. He also experienced a notable attitude adjustment throughout the year and now pays more attention to how his actions affect others (a great thing for any 4th grade boy to learn).
Ada, timid and shy at the beginning of the year, now forms complete sentences in English and loudly sings songs like Hakuna matata (taught to her by her mentor-tutor, Arielle). She even uses English with her siblings as a ‘secret language’ around their parents.
Estephany can now say her colors and numbers in English and is coming into her own as a little person. She is a being fairly brimming with personality and I cannot wait to hear about, and hopefully make it back to see, the person she becomes.
Each of those life benchmarks is the result of each child persevering despite a multitude of barriers. And, like all children, there is great potential for what they can become and will do in their lives based off of the foundation being formed now.
‘Our goal isn’t that these kids make straight A’s, it’d be great if they did, but instead it’s more important that they become responsible, loving adults,’ say, OFH co-founders Sarah and Jami. ‘By being there for them, giving them opportunities, and loving them no matter what, we can help make that happen.’
These four children, Karla, Sergio, Ada, and Estephany represent greatness in the making. Perhaps they’ll go on to hold powerful positions, perhaps not. But either way they are in the process of becoming great human beings and it was a pleasure to watch their growth this year.
P.S. You too can be a part of helping with the process by donating to One Family Honduras. Click here for more info.”