14-Year Old Student Inspired by University of St. Martin President

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It is always great to read uplifting, inspiring stories such as this one: “14-Year Old Student Inspired by USM President Call for Every Household at least an Associate’s Degree” published today (June 15, 2017) by Soualiga Newsday. Dr. Francio Guadeloupe, president of the University of St. Martin (USM), sees results of his call (now in the university’s mission statement) for “having one person with at least an Associate Degree in every household on the island.” The article also highlights the unshakable support of the grandmother of student Christopher Naar (who was born in the Dominican Republic and moved at age 9 to join his family in Aruba) as well as his own determination and hard work. Dr. Guadeloupe states that this example is “but the top of the iceberg of positive minded youngsters here on the island that we cannot and must not let down. They are our future.” May we all follow this mission at our respective institutions! Soualiga Newsday reports:

Being constantly bombarded with negative news about our youngsters living in neighborhoods such as Middle Region, Dutch Quarter, and Sucker Garden, we often forget the many success stories.

This week the President of the University of St. Martin (USM), Dr. Francio Guadeloupe, received an unexpected visit by 14-year-old Christopher Naar and his grandmother Mrs. Gloria Naar from Sucker Garden.

Dr. Guadeloupe was made aware that he was an inspiration to Christopher and his grandmother who had heard of the USM’s mission statement of having one person with at least an Associate Degree in every household on the island. Christopher is bent on being that person for his family. In fact, he wants even more, as his ambition is to be a lawyer. Christopher said, “I want to be a lawyer so I can be a good parliamentarian or Prime Minister and do something good for Sint Maarten. And to make my grandmother happy”.

They invited the President to attend Christopher’s graduation ceremony where he will give a speech as valedictorian of the Sister Marie Laurence primary school located in Middle Region. Christopher presents us with an example of what youngsters achieve when they are willing to work hard and are coached by family and school teachers. Christopher was born in the Dominican Republic and migrated to live with his grandmother at the tender age of 9 years old.

His grandmother, Mrs. Naar, wanted the best for her grandson, and reasoned that on Sint Maarten, Christopher, would have the opportunity to excel. He enrolled in the Sister Marie Laurence primary school, solely being able to speak Spanish. His Aruban grandmother did what she knew best and took the time with her grandson.

Mrs. Naar explained, “What I got from Aruba, I tried to pass on to the next generation. I used to do a lot of neighborhood helping. So now I have my old grandchild, I did what I always do. I am passing on what I learn to them. What I learn in Aruba. We all can make it.” Mrs. Gloria Naar’s efforts have borne fruits. Next year Christopher is scheduled to do the HAVO at the Milton Peters College. Today he speaks fluent English, Dutch and Spanish.

Dr. Guadeloupe has pledged to attend Christopher’s graduation and in a gesture of reciprocity, Christopher and his whole family will be featured at the USM’s commencement ceremony on the 24th of June 2017. Dr. Guadeloupe stated it is imperative that we foster these youngsters and support them with their goals. The President has agreed to mentor Christopher throughout his studies.

“Christopher Naar is but the top of the iceberg of positive minded youngsters here on the island that we cannot and must not let down. They are our future”.

For original article, see http://www.soualiganewsday.com/local/soualiga-newsday-top-stories/item/14160-14-year-old-student-inspired-by-usm-president-call-for-every-household-at-least-an-associate%E2%80%99s-degree.html

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