It started out with around 2000 applicants from this country alone. From there they were weeded out until only a 50 from the San Pedro area were left, and I assume about the same in the Tegucigalpa area. My three students were among those 50 chosen to interview for the Walton International Scholarship. Even the ones that were not chosen to go on, worked hard and I am so proud of them. However, of those 50 that interviewed in person a couple weeks ago, only 5 were chosen… and one of those was Javier Lara, a senior at our school. He then went for a second interview early in March and we just received new that he won the scholarship and will be attending Harding University in the fall.
It is rare to find a student that has great leadership abilities and yet uses it to help others. I have seen him entertain 50 kids on a mountain and I have seen him cry after praying for an older man in the hospital. I watched him mentor an elementary kid as a junior in high school and I have seen him try to charm his teachers out of class. His goals are to rise up to be a great leader here in our country, Honduras, so that others can continue their education with scholarships. He wants to graduate from university so he can help his parents with his siblings education. I don’t imagine this is the intention of many 18 year olds however, Javier is no ordinary teenage. Below is his essay describing why he wants to attend university and what his goals are after graduation. His goal show his true character and are worth the read!
” I was raised in a small town, Lepaera, which is located in the western part of Honduras. My parents got married when they were very young. As a result they have had difficulty in finding a high paying job thereby limiting their ability to earn sufficient money to generate a good income for the family. By the time I was born, my dad had worked hard in order to get a promotion in his job. My parents knew that I had a big future, so they started to teach me about Christian values, moral values, and courtesy rules that I was going to need later on. I attended a public school in my small town, which its name is Escuela Urbana Mixta Manuel Bonilla. During the six years I was in the public system I had a lot of ups and downs, but I always saw those moments as opportunities for me to grow stronger. After I graduated from the public school, I had few options to continue my high school education because of my parents’ income. I knew that in the worst case I would have to go to a public high school, but I was not excited about continuing my education there. Around this time, my dad got a new job in a government bank, significantly improving my parent´s income. In my heart I knew that God was providing a great opportunity for me. I decided to talk with my dad about the chance of studying in a private school. Somehow God worked through my parents to the point that they finally decided that I needed to continue my education in Abundant Life Christian School. So far it is one of the greatest achievements and blessings that my family and I have accomplished and received together. Abundant life Christian School is like the land of opportunity and the home of great educators who are always encouraging students to seek Christ. One of the first commitments that I made to myself and to my parents was that I would always strive for excellence. Not only that but I felt like I had a responsibility to Abundant Life Christian School to uphold the school´s educational and moral values. I decided to work hard in order that one day I would to be well-known in the school because of my faith, my desire to help struggling people, and to be known as a leader. Also as someone mature enough to take tasks and complete them beyond expectations. During my 5 years in Abundant Life Christian School I have learned how to be a good leader from a Christian perspective, how to treat people equally, how to give and receive, and how to work hard for my grades. My dad´s job is the primary source of income in our family and out of his monthly salary about 70% of his monthly income goes for the education of my sister and me in Abundant Life Christian School but it has been worth this sacrifice.
I have planned after graduating from high school to study abroad. Financial help is critical for me to accomplish this goal. My family´s income has taken me as far as they are able but is not enough to ensure my education, as well as my sister and my little brother´s. This is especially true because my father just lost his job. When it gets time for me to graduate I want to work hard, so I can assist in my family´s income and help my parents to pay for my sister and brother´s education. My ultimate life´s goal is that one day I will have enough money to help poor kids in my country to continue their education through scholarships. If one day I get the opportunity to rise up as one of my nation´s leaders, I will work diligently in order to make Honduras a safe and better place for people to live and continue their education.”