Posted On 23. January 2017 In Projects, Schoenstatt - Reaching out

Learning and leaving a mark: Liceo Providencia’s first graduating class

URUGUAY, Matías Cerviño

The basic cycle of “Liceo Providencia –Papa Francisco” [“Pope Francis – Providencia Preparatory High School”], a Uruguayan Schoenstatt Movement social work, the first generation has ended. The entire educational community bid them farewell with great joy and a desire to continue accompanying them on the new stage they begin.

The class of 2017 finished their classes at the end of December. “Liceo Providencia – Papa Francisco” opened its doors with this class in 2014; it is one of three educational programs at Providencia Center, launched and developed by the Uruguayan Schoenstatt Movement.

“How many times the small and insignificant is the origin of something big, the biggest.”  For more than twenty years, the Movement has worked in the Cerro Oeste area, particularly in the Casabó neighborhood, one of Montevideo’s most vulnerable areas. The members of the Schoenstatt Movement founded this educational center to accompany the area’s children and youths in their growth as free persons, helping them discover and accompanying them in developing their potential and originality. Currently, the Providencia Center cares for 350 children and youths through three educational programs: a Children’s Club, a Youth Center and the High School.

I improved, I grew, they helped me to know myself better

Fabián Roizen, the principal of Liceo and a member of the Schoenstatt Family of Montevideo, commented that it was beautiful and challenging to accompany this first generation: “We learned with them, and they also left their mark transforming the institution and the teachers. It is a sign of the impact our institutional life seeks to have in the lives of these youngsters, but it was also transformed by their interests, their concerns, and for what they contributed. I loved being a part of the training process of these youngsters; it formed me as a person, educator and principal.”

Romina, a student of the 2014 generation-2017 graduating class, commented, “They helped me greatly; if they had not helped me, I would not have passed any of the three years. They were always there to support me. When they saw I was not well, they would ask; they were concerned about me. I am happy that I finished the Liceo, because I passed to the 4th year, but I am certain that I will miss it.” For Brian, the best part was the number of friends and teachers he met and who supported him on this road:  “During these years, I have improved, I grew, and they helped me to know myself better. What I enjoyed the most were the workshops and camps. For me, it was getting out of my comfort zone to encounter others.”

May they be the change they want to see in the world

The graduation of this class is a great joy, because the youngsters begin a new stage filled with projects, goals, and dreams to fulfill. It is a joy with a touch of nostalgia for all the shared history, for the road traveled and built, but with the certainty that they will continue being part of this Providential family. Therefore on the last day of classes, the Liceo teachers told them not to forget that that Providencia is their home, and that they are here to accompany them in their process of continuing to form themselves as persons.

“On 25 February 2014, when we inaugurated the Liceo, we invited the starting generation to be the protagonists of their lives, for them to be encouraged to open roads, not to diminish themselves before challenges and for them to be the change they want to see in the world. Today with the full meaning that this phrase accomplished over these past few years and before the new challenges of this new phase of life, I would say it to them all over again,” Fabián Roizen commented.

Original: Spanish. Translation: Celina M. Garza, San Antonio, TX USA. Edited: Melissa Peña-Janknegt, Elgin, TX USA

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