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A Letter to the 2018 Graduating Class

Dear St.Gabriel’s Class of 2018,

Do you know what grit is? If you open a dictionary it is defined as, “courage and resolve; the strength of character”,  but if you ask Matmwazèl Maya, grit is being a Philo (13th grade) graduate in Haiti.

Grit is: walking anywhere from 5 min to 90 minutes to school each day. showing up to your classes full of energy and ready to absorb whatever is thrown at you knowing your first (and possibly only) meal will be at 10 am and still not acting “hangry” in class studying for hours on end in the evening for a National Exam **sometimes well after midnight** being patient with Maya’s Creole as she quizzes you on your Spanish, English, and Biology keeping your head up and pushing on when lessons don’t come easily defying odds by staying in school past the 9th grade juggling learning 4 languages: English, Spanish, French, and Creole balancing school life (study groups, clubs, sports) with home life (carrying water, cooking, tending garden etc…)

But above all else, G R I T is overcoming all odds set against you and G R A D U A T I N G. So congratulations and way to go! I can’t express enough how truly proud I am. I have been so blessed to have the opportunity to become your mentor and watch you grow intellectually and personally over the past 4 months. I have enjoyed every minute with you guys. Not only have I taught you…but you’ve taught me too. I’ve learned everything from how to do hair, to Haitian curse words and you all are to blame (or thank!).

Darline, I cherish those evenings when we would just sit on the roof together, you would study for the National Exam and I would grade papers. All the bug bites were worth it. Hernz, Rudner, and Loute- I loved our brief (but thorough) Bio study sessions in Creole/English/French. Your patience is incredible. The memories I have made with you and your graduating class are memories I will always remember and hold dear to my heart. BUT we aren’t done yet!! So continue to study hard for your exam and keep being the gritty grads I know and love.

M’renmen ou (Love ya)-


Maya and part of the 2018 Graduating Class

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