New Scholarship Students
Graduation is a key moment in any student’s life. This year, five of our students are moving on to new dreams. Two have been accepted into university, one student is applying to the Navy, one is keen on being a veterinarian and one graduate is going to take a break, study music for a year, and then apply for criminology. As a send off, we gave each a very cool pen with their name engraved. We’re sad to see the students leave, as they feel like family to us, but we’re excited for their future. More photos.
Students must keep an 8.2 GPA and the grade on each subject must be 8 and above. As well, they are required to do four hours of community service a month.
Our New Board of Director
It is with great pleasure that we announce a new Board of Director for our charity, Óscar Montoya Salazar. His experience, credentials, and love of volunteering fit in perfectly with our charity’s mission to help children and families move forward in their lives. Óscar was born in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico, and has been living in La Paz for seventeen years. He’s happily married and has a handsome 6 yr old son. Óscar teaches English in two local schools and truly enjoys giving the best of himself in everything he does. In his free time, he enjoys time with his family, staying active with his son, keeping in shape by playing different sports, and volunteering. He has been involved with our charity since its inception and says that working as a volunteer “has brought out the best in me.” Óscar is bilingual, has a Bachelor’s degree in ESL, which is focused at the junior high level. He believes that “staying in school is the key to a better life.” We couldn’t agree more!
I’d like to share with you a part of a posting that Oscar wrote on his Facebook page after becoming a Board member:
Oscar needed a ride to Vista Hermosa for a meeting with the scholarship students to discuss English classes. As he made the meeting at the hottest time of the day – even the lizards know enough to stay home – my idea was to drop him off, find an internet café with a/c, and pick him up when the meeting was over.
When we arrived at the community and I got out of the car to say hello to some people, suddenly a number of mothers and students yelled, “Surprise”. They then presented me with a styrofoam board cut out to look a like a picture frame with Congratulations written on it, congratulating the charity for its work in the community. What a sweet gesture, I thought, not knowing the best was yet to come. After we took a few photos, someone pulled out a chair, indicating to me to take a load off my feet.
I can’t remember much of what happened next as I was so stunned, but I remember Oscar handing me a Recognition plaque and reading, first in Spanish and then translated into English (photo below), what was written. It’s not often I’m speechless but this was one of those times. When I could gather my thoughts together, I made a small speech, most of which I have no idea what I said except to thank everyone. Receiving such a plaque is a moment engraved on my heart forever, much as those words on the plaque.
This is what I wrote on the Care for Kids La Paz Facebook page:
I am unable to find the appropriate words to describe the immense feeling of gratitude to the scholarship students and mothers who bestowed upon me this plaque in recognition of the work our charity has done in the community, Vista Hermosa, for the past thirteen years. It was such a profound moment – overwhelming, too – to receive such an honour and I am truly blessed to be part of this wonderful “family”. I cannot even begin to express my deep appreciation to those who have shown their support in such a thoughtful way. What a magnificent surprise! (The translation is in the photo below)
My lovely daughter posted this on her Facebook page:
I could not be more proud of my mother, Barbara, and the honour she received from the children and families of Vista Hermosa. For the past 13 years she’s run her charity Care For Kids La Paz as a labour of love and a voluntary commitment. Through generous donations during this time (that have gone directly to children and families in need), Care for Kids La Paz has been able to provide a breakfast program and school scholarships. They have rebuilt homes after hurricanes destroyed the region. Volunteers deliver mattresses to those who have none. The charity provides children with school supplies and clothing, and many individual families are gifted with food. There have been many parties over the years to celebrate the holidays, graduating students, and the charity volunteers. Every year at Christmas, Barbara organizes a giant food hamper drive. She also has a doctor who volunteers his time with the charity for families who cannot afford healthcare. The list goes on and on and on and on and on . . . Congratulations dear mom on your incredible contribution to making this world a better place. Your efforts as a social worker and loving human being have truly transformed the lives of many. Photos here.