From a student in the Antigua Daycare Center to a brick on the Path of Dreams, Michelle Morales’ story started long before she began working for Common Hope.
If you have visited Common Hope in the past year and taken a tour of the clinic, you may have met Michelle who greets all visitors with a big smile and a happy “hello.” Although Michelle has only been working at Common Hope since January 2016, she has never been a stranger to the Family Development Center.
As an affiliated family with Common Hope, Michelle’s experience started in the Daycare Center. Once she reached primary school age, she was sponsored. Michelle fondly remembers getting her school supplies at the start of each year. In addition to the academic support, her family received a lot of health care support and a needed improvement to their home.
As she reflects about her experience of being sponsored, she explains that
“I thought it was great that someone who did not even know me wanted to support me. I felt like they were part of my family because of the motivation it gave me. Thanks to them, I am where I am today. “
Her first steps towards furthering her relationship with Common Hope came when she was nearing the end of High School and concluding her sponsorship through Common Hope. Studying to be a bilingual secretary, Michelle applied to do her junior year internship at Common Hope. In November 2014, Michelle completed her first 200 hour internship and then in 2015 she completed a second one to fulfill her requirements to graduate from high school. Michelle was offered a job at Common Hope that following January, working as the receptionist in the Antigua clinic.
“I saw Common Hope from a different view. I saw what they do behind the desks. I learned that what Common Hope does is much more extensive that I had thought and I have learned a lot.”
Michelle’s educational goals far from ended with her high school graduation. Despite working full time at Common Hope, Michelle continues to pursue her goal of being a lawyer. She is currently in her second year of Law School. From Monday through Friday, Michelle arrives at work at 7:30AM, works until 4:30PM and then she goes to her university classes from 6:00PM to 9:00PM. Michelle’s motivation and eagerness to learn is easy to see. Beyond her already busy schedule, she currently is learning to play guitar and wants to take English classes to improve her fluency.
As Michelle reflects on her years of experience with Common Hope she notes, “Common Hope really helps youth. We finish the program aspiring to do more. We have more goals and more dreams.”
Lynn Miller, a long term volunteer with Common Hope, has known Michelle since she was a little girl. At a recent all staff assembly Lynn shared, “Michelle has a great curiosity to learn new things and is very professional in her work with the families who come to the clinic. She is an inspiration to our affiliated students and is a joy to work with!”
We thank Michelle for sharing her story with us and wish her the best of luck in all that her future holds!