Fall programs have started and Hope Horizon East Palo Alto is excited to welcome back all students! As programs launch, we’d like to share a few parent perspectives that encompass our holistic approach and the ways our students and families have experienced God’s love at Hope Horizon EPA.
“Anything that Hope Horizon needs, you can count on me. They have provided my daughter with so many great experiences; that is why I am always willing to help.”
Maggie, Hope Horizon East Palo Alto parent
Maggie is a Hope Horizon East Palo Alto parent and her daughter, Sofia, has been part of Hope Horizon EPA for four years. Sofia joined the high school program in her sophomore year of high school. During this time, both Sofia and Maggie had been going through a rough chapter in their lives. At first Sofia tried out the program as she was new to the area and wanted to make friends.
“She would ask God a lot for answers to why it was that she was going through what she was. That day the high school students had an activity. In the activity the students were given a scripture and then asked to reflect upon it. Her scripture read, ‘I may not be your biological father, but I am your celestial father.’” This made Sofia feel heard as she took it as a sign from God and answer to her prayers.
“She came to me and said, ‘Wow mom this is like a sign,’ and I said of course it is. God is real and he is here with you.”
Sofia felt that she had found a place she really connected with. She insisted on coming to the spiritual programs. She enjoyed her experience so much that she continued as one of our classroom leaders during Camp Hope Horizon, where she was able to invest in younger students, give back to her community and gaining job skills. As a member of the summer staff, she demonstrated leadership and empathy as she connected with her students.
Sofia is now entering her sophomore year at UC Berkely where she is studying psychology in hopes of going into a pediatric medicine career. She is also one of our scholarship recipients. Please keep Sofia in your prayers as she pursues her education and continues to seek Jesus in her life.
“This past year my children were offered free after-school and summer programs. But my kids insisted that I bring them back to Hope Horizon. At the time I had not been working full-time and my husband had been out of work for a month. It was hard to pay but Waniya [Assistant Director, Academic Programs] helped me apply for a scholarship, which then made it possible to have my kids attend. My kids pleaded, ‘please don’t take us out of Hope Horizon.’”
Alicia, Hope Horizon EPA parent
Alicia and her family have been part of Hope Horizon EPA for three years and we also had the opportunity of having her serve as our parent liaison this past summer. Both of her children happily attended the start of fall programs this week.
As much as they enjoy attending our programs, we also enjoy having them as well. All our students bring such a positive and bright light into our program. We appreciate every single one of them and the uniqueness that they bring to our campus.
“My son loves how Jon [Middle School Spiritual Program Manager] is. He understands the middle schoolers. He even tells me, ‘With him I feel good and relaxed when I am in his class.’ All the kids listen to him, they love him.”
Last year, Alcia’s mother passed away. It was a loss that was difficult for her family.
“My mom (my daughter's grandmother) passed away last year and being part of Hope Horizon helped her feel closer to her because her grandmother was an active member of the Catholic Church. She specifically prayed a lot to the Virgin Mary. My daughter was able to find closure and a way to feel closer to her grandmother as she joined the spiritual program. She also began to pray more consistently herself.”
Alicia‘s children found comfort and a way to be filled with peace in Hope Horizon spiritual programs. Her children were also able to benefit from the academic support.
“Whenever I couldn’t help my son with his math homework, he would always tell me that he could take it with him, and he would be helped at Hope Horizon. My daughter had a bit of trouble with writing as she went to dual immersion school and even though she loves coming to program, Hope Horizon didn’t have many bilingual staff so it was hard for her to get help with her homework.”
We thank God that we have dedicated staff and volunteers to offer the math help that her son needed. The needs of our students and families evolve over time, and we strive to listen to our community and actively respond when possible. This fall, we are also blessed to bring on bilingual staff. Please pray for us as we continue to grow our Hope Horizon family and expand the resources we have to offer. It is amazing to see the ways God is at work in the lives of our students and we invite you to be part of bringing hope and a future by volunteering, praying or making a financial donation.