November brings the end of the school year for students in Honduras. That means that our ninth grade students graduated from the village school we serve. And this year's class was extra special for so many reasons.
This generation in Honduras is unique in that their academic experience was profoundly shaped by a global pandemic. Not only did they miss two full years of education, they have had to adapt to vaccine mandates, mask requirements and constant fear (these issues are ongoing in Honduras). They have overcome these challenges. And it made last weekend's graduation celebration so much sweeter.
This class is extra special to me because they are the very first class of students I began teaching when we arrived in La Esperanza. They were in fifth grade then. I have had the honor to see them grow into amazing young people ready to take on the world. And I could not be prouder of their accomplishments.
For many of these students, this graduation marks the end of their academic careers. A few may go on to high school, but it will require monumental effort as higher education is only available in larger cities. Some will stay in the village and start families of their own. Others will strike out in search of more opportunity. Having spent the last four years with these young people, I am encouraged by their courage, perseverance and love for one another. The future in Honduras is in good hands!
As my students in school and in Club Aslan, I hope this class has learned maybe a little bit of English and a lot about their values. More than anything, I hope that God has used us to begin a life-changing transformation. No matter where the future leads, I pray that each one of these kids will look back on our games, our conversations, our lessons and remember that they are special and loved by God.