Celebrating Milestones

Oct 3, 2018

Steph Duff

One of Back2Back Cancun’s tutors, Ersy, stood in front of the crowd at the graduation ceremony. “This next student,” he hesitated because of emotion, “will always have a special place in my heart. Maria, come on up.” The crowd clapped enthusiastically as Maria made her way up front to accept her diploma. She gave Ersy a big hug, a grateful smile spread across her face. It was a day Maria didn’t think she’d ever see, but she proved herself wrong.

It’s graduation season in Cancun, Mexico, and staff across the site are celebrating the many transitions in school for each student. Graduation is a special time for everyone, but for students like Maria, it can sometimes feel like a far-off dream finally coming true.

“When we first met Maria and her family, her mom was struggling to make ends meet,” explained Darlene Ruiz, Back2Back staff. “Their mom had decided if their grades didn’t improve, she was going to ask them to work instead of going to school to help the family.” That is when Back2Back stepped in.

Maria and her siblings immediately joined classes at Bonfil Community Center. Therapy with the psychologist and educational services with the tutors were the two main areas Back2Back initially came alongside her. “Maria’s first challenge was to complete elementary school,” shared Darlene. It took dedication from both Maria and her tutors. She worked diligently in her studies by focusing in school and reviewing everything she learned with tutors after school. “Our goal was always to help increase her comprehension skills and eventually get her to the level of her peers.”

Three years of hard work and dedication eventually paid off for Maria. Once the girl who wasn’t sure she’d ever complete elementary school, Maria completed middle school and is moving on to high school with one of the highest rankings in her class.

“It wasn’t just one person helping Maria that brought her here,” said Darlene. “It was a global effort.” Through regular therapies, faithful Bible studies, and ongoing tutoring, Maria received well-rounded, holistic care; it wasn’t simply her educational needs being met, but her spiritual, physical, emotional, and social needs, too.

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Back2Back is committed to providing care in five areas of child development to every boy and girl with which we work. This is all possible, in part, because of your consistent financial support through sponsorship. Thank you for being a part of victories like Maria’s through your giving and providing care for today and hope for every tomorrow.

Steph Duff is a writer, daughter, sister, and really loud laugher. By day she lends her voice on behalf of orphaned and vulnerable children with Back2Back Ministries. By night she is readily found with her nose in a book and spending time with her dachshund, Addy. At all hours, she can be found consuming copious amounts of coffee. She feels most herself in the heat of India and prefers her mugs big, her books long, and her words intentional.

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