After a bout of meningitis when he was young, Miguel Fernando Hernandez sustained damage to his eyes. Ever since, he has been slowly losing his eyesight—but this has not held him back one bit. Miguel finished his teaching practicum this fall and will graduate from high school on time this year.
Access to individualized attention
Because of his sponsorship, Miguel was able to attend private school from elementary through high school. Common Hope staff arranged for this because they knew it would give Miguel more individualized attention, which would likely be crucial for his success.
Miguel thrived at his school, progressing on pace with his peers and pursuing a degree in teaching. He completed his junior year pre-practicum training at his own school, where he continued to have the extra support of fellow teachers and students that knew and assisted him.
Throughout his education Miguel also received a lot of help from his siblings, who read his textbooks and homework to him all throughout high school. Miguel listened intently and memorized everything, demonstrating his intelligence, determination, and commitment day after day.
Breaking out on his own
When it came to his senior year practicum, Miguel wanted to challenge himself further and break out of the school environment he had come to know. He went to student teach at the primary school in La Guardiania el Hato.
It was a very difficult time for him in this new school, Miguel freely admits. In particular, he found grading very challenging. Miguel has enough sight to read papers held very close, but even this is a strain. And yet, similar to his high school experience, Miguel was able to find support from his peers to get the job done.
Miguel is clearly a model of persistence despite immense challenges. So much so that he was chosen as the salutatorian for the graduating high school class at the Common Hope graduation ceremony. In his speech, Miguel expressed his gratitude for the key things that had helped him and the other graduates get where they were today: Common Hope, God, and family. With these three elements, Miguel said, the 156 high school grads were able to be successful.
It is clear that Miguel will keep on pushing and trying new things to make his success possible. Congratulations to this well-deserved, inspiring graduate.