Anna* stood in her red graduation robe before adults and peers who have supported her for many years. She walked shyly to the wooden structure that held the celebration bell and tugged on the attached rope. Clangs echoed off the buildings in a song of triumph. As those gathered cheered loudly, Anna smiled, confident in what she’d accomplished.
The bell on the Monterrey campus is a well-known rite of passage. The wooden structure holds a brass bell with a long rope attached to it. It rings loudly on campus for all to hear whenever a Back2Back teen reaches an educational milestone. On February 8th, with her Hope Parents, tutors, and Back2Back staff present, Anna rang the bell in commemoration of earning a technical degree and beginning her career. It was a moment of elation for Anna and prompted tears of joy for the adults who helped her get to this point.
Anna has spent most of her life under Back2Back’s care. Initially she lived in a partnering children’s home and at fourteen years old, transitioned to the Hope Education Program. When she arrived at the Back2Back campus, she was educationally delayed and struggled with fear and anxiety. She thought she would never complete middle school. Anna’s Hope Parents, the Back2Back technical team, and tutors rallied around Anna, speaking life to her and reminding her of her extraordinary capability.
Once a young girl unsure of even completing the eighth grade, Anna grew into a woman who finished high school, worked for a technical degree in administration, and is now a licensed masseuse.
Anna shares credit with her Back2Back family for her success, but acknowledges her greatest support was found in God. Her relationship with Him grew under the discipleship of her Hope Parents, and as her trust in Him deepened, the fear and anxiety she felt about her future diminished.
Along with ringing the bell, Anna celebrated in style with a graduation party that included worship, words of encouragement, and a three-course meal. “The Hope Program Director and her Hope dad gave small speeches, congratulating Anna and acknowledging how hard she has worked to surpass her own expectations,” shared Sara Jensen, Back2Back staff.
As Anna takes her next step into the future, she’ll be doing it alongside her extended family. These relationships haven’t always been easy, in fact, Anna acknowledges they have been some of her biggest obstacles and largest motivators. “I recognize the help I’ve received over the years from Back2Back has impacted me for the better,” shared Anna. “Trusted psychologists have guided me towards making sense of my history. I see myself as a child of God who is created with purpose and this helps me frame my relationship with my mom.” Anna realizes the Back2Back resources that have helped her grow were not something her family had access to for their own transformation. She wants to be a light to her family, to offer forgiveness, and be an example for healthy living.
Please join us in prayer for Anna as she takes these next steps toward her future. Pray the truth Anna has experienced in her own life will allow her to deposit love and hope into her family as she paves a new road for her future.