When Katherine came to St. John Paul II as a 6th grader, she knew one word of English. “The only word I knew was, “Hi,” she said. Two years later, Katherine is one of our middle school leaders.
Katherine was 8 months old when her father left Ecuador for the United States. She and her mother finally followed him 10 years later.
It was very difficult to leave her friends and family, and there were many challenges in her new home: She had to forge a relationship with her father. Start in a new school. Make friends. And learn a language.
“I don’t really remember learning English,” she said. She does remember starting with a pre-kindergarten book, which she took home and translated word by word. Midway through 6th grade, she could read a page of English.
Katherine’s school friend Kelly helped that first year. And middle school teacher Mrs. Weakley’s essay assignments helped her learn to write. Now Katherine dreams of being a psychologist. “I like to listen to people when they are sad.”
Her favorite thing about JPII? “I like that we learn about Christ.”
“All the things I came through make me strong to keep going… to make my parents’ sacrifices worth it.”