Applying as an international student to colleges in the US is a bit different than the application process for a US student. It takes great grades, several interviews, more academic tests and TONS of perseverance… and all of this while learning remotely in a pandemic. For this reason, I am especially proud of our students who have overcome multiple obstacles to fulfill their dreams of studying in the US then will return to serve in “our” country. Over the coming weeks, I would like to introduce y’all to “my” kids that are heading your way. Write to them. Take them to dinner. Send them a care package. Check in on them. Above all else, please be in prayer for them (and their parents).
*For the record, I have a list of kids that are going to school here that I am equally proud of but fortunately, they will be close enough to their parents to receive their support.
Horacio received a scholarship from Calvin college as well as a private scholarship from individuals and churches near Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is planning to study biochemistry or music performance. Horacio is the kind of kid that you notice as a teacher. He stands out in any class. I have probably told him to be quiet more than any other kid. However he always makes me smile, is always willing to help and is incredibly brave, willing to do things out of his comfort zone. He is smart, funny, a great singer, fabulous actor, and amazing artist. He hasn’t had the easiest of time in his school career but he has persevered. I couldn’t be more proud of him. Calvin people, you are in for treat in getting to know him! Read on to see how amazing he is.
The story of my potential starts in 2003 in a small town in the West region of Honduras named Gracias, Lempira. I was a premature born child to a mother who earned less than the minimal salary, and a father who had not graduated from the Honduran Armed Forces’ Academy until two weeks prior. I was raised by my grandmother my first year of life, as both my mom and dad were working somewhere else to barely earn for my formula and diapers. My mom decided to return and live with me, and after one year apart from each other, she returned home and opened a small business. That business to me was the best craft store to ever exist in Honduras.
My education started in 2009. My mom’s craft store was not doing well, and as a low ranked army officer my father was still earning minimum wage. Despite the economic situation; it was time for me to enter first grade. Young me thought he would never make it past first grade whilst being the youngest person in my class. Nonetheless, since that first day of school I grabbed an intense love for learning new things, that love gave me the potential to end the year holding my class’ first place. The same thing happened in my second grade, but this time with a near perfect average. However, in order to gain strength, I was yet to face the toughest experiences ever.
Enrolled at Abundant Life Christian School
My parents saw my potential and decided to enroll me in a private school, though finances didn’t quite allow it. My mom and dad took their biggest shot in me by enrolling me in a wonderful Christian institution, which affirmed my morals and opportunity into my life. This school was amazing; but learning a new language and making new friends can be tough. In third grade I found myself in great anxiety, which led me to stress eat, and sent me into a downward spiral. By the end of middle school, I weighed around 150 pounds, which is about 50 pounds more than people my age weighed.
As I entered high school, I decided I would still be an outstanding kid despite struggling. I achieved this. Although not in the top spot, I was still academic excellence. I was still overweight, but I decided enough was enough sophomore year. I decided to seek help with my anxiety, and which had turned into very bad depression. I also decided to get help with my weight. I rediscovered my potential, I rediscovered my worth. I rediscovered my love for helping others and being a person of change. I rediscovered the value of life, thanks to an incomparable teacher and counselor, who would become my third mother, and my lifeline for sophomore and junior year.
Throughout this crazy journey we call high school, I started putting my love for others first. I discovered a newfound excitement for translation, which led me to translate for two mission trips. I will never forget going to villages near my area and sharing, helping and caring for others. Junior year I discovered my love for others could be of great help in a poor country with an underperforming health system. I decided to pair up with my class and school president, who is one of my greatest friends, and we organized a toy and personal care supply drive for newborns and kids in our city’s public hospital. The pictures of giving out smiles and the satisfaction that came with receiving them back will never leave my mind, and have led me to want to share my potential with the country that saw me discovering sharing, caring, and my potential.
Potential Discovered, Rediscovered, and Seeking to Uncover
Life has truly been the best school for experience, I cannot say otherwise. A public school was the perfect place to find my potential, and a private and Christian school was the best place for me to rediscover said potential, and I am beyond thankful to have been lucky enough to receive such excellent education. Now, as my potential is seeking for a place to continue growing, I have to keep the place that saw it begin present at all times. Now, as I hope to achieve a greater education, I must never forget the place that brought me the education I take with me everywhere.