Mariela’s Final Speech

Hi everyone. For the people that don’t know who I am, my name is Mariela and I from NPH Mexico.

I want to share about my experiences at the Seattle Institute and at iLEAP.

When I wrote my application to participate in the Seattle Institute program, I thought it would all be easy and exciting. I know now that only the second word was true.

I had a different idea about what leadership meant. In my mind, leadership was more about being the strongest in a group. But through my time in Seattle, I have learned that an equally important part of leadership is believing in myself, sharing my feelings with others, and taking time to reflect on myself. Allowing myself to be vulnerable is also very important.

The Seattle Institute and iLEAP have helped me thoughtfully consider who I am, where I am going, and what I want. We learned how to create goals, and different methods to be able to do them.

A personal goal for me is to be able to be the best version of myself, accepting my weaknesses, and being proud of my virtues.  And my professional goals are continue to grow my knowledge, skills and abilities as a dentist in order to help my community.

This stage in my life is very important for me because I want to inspire my younger brothers and sisters and share what I have learned. I want them to be able to see that being part of NPH is really amazing. NPH is transforming our lives now, and in the future, we are going to be the people who transform others’ lives with love and education.

I know there is a lot to learn, inside and outside the classroom, and this is only the beginning of my jorny. I know I’m going to make mistakes in the future, but something I struggle with is   recanaisin when something is not working, and being able to know when it is time to go a different way.

Now when I think about leadership, words like humility, tolerance, support, empathy, and teaching are what come to mind. These words are important to me and define the kind of leader I am trying to be.

I know now that I am a leader who is good at communicating and supporting others. I enjoy listening to people, being open to their ideas, and working with them.

I want to support and motivate others to give their best in order to make change. It’s not because I believe I have all the answers, but from my own experiences, I understand what it means to have someone who believes and has faith in you, to help you believe in yourself.

This program was amazing for me. I take with me an album of memories of adventures with my brothers and sisters, my host family, my teachers at the school, and all the people involved with NPH. I want to say thank you to all of you for being patient and understanding with this crazy Mariela.

Today is a really good day, not just because it is our graduation and is the end of the program. It is because we know that this is the beginning of something really amazing for everyone. I feel inspired and I believe that everything happened for a reason, like to make a difference, to encourage change, to become our best selves, and help others.

Finally, I want to let you know to Saravia, Roxana, Jimmy, Samuel and David, that it was an honor to be with you in this beautiful adventure and you will always be in my heart. Thank you and thank you all of you.

Roxy’s Final Speech

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be publishing the student’s speeches from graduation. They were so great! Each speech was written by each student in their own English. 

Hello, everyone! My name is Roxana and I’m from El Salvador

thanks for being here with us in this wonderful moment. I would like to share a little bit about my experiences here in Seattle.

This year in Seattle, I have discovered that I am a leader. In the beginning, I didn’t believe in myself. But now I have the confidence that I can succeed, can make many changes in my life, and in the lives of others.

A few of my favorite experiences have been in this group with my brother and sisters, iLeap and Seattle Central College. At school, meeting other students from other countries was very interesting for me. I really enjoyed learning about other cultures with my new friends. The retreats that we went on together were very profound for me, and full of new experiences, like kayaking and patel-boarding. One important thing I learned in iLeap is how to put my dreams into action.

Through my experiences, I have discovered some of my strengths. I found that I am good at helping people with their problems. I connect easily with other people. I am a good listener. I want to use these and other skills I have learned to help others, especially those with special needs.

I know I need help with this, so I will work with my other brother and sisters to continue building Father Wasson dreams. How? By teaching each other how to be a good family member, why it is important for a family to be close. Why it is necessary to learn about NPH services and values. To do this, I want to work with small groups. I want them to know there are so many people who believe in us and what we can do. And they should believe me because of my experiences meeting and connecting with other people during my time here in Seattle.

I am also starting to learn more about my leadership style with the help of iLEAP, my peers and facilitators at the Seattle institute and my host family

Part of my leadership means being able to take good care of myself, physically, mentally and spiritually, so that I can help others build their dreams and make them come to life. And in helping other make their dreams come true, mine will come true as well.

. Leadership means working hard in what you believe in, believing in your group, and believing you will do whatever it is you want to do. I want to be this type of leader because sometimes we don’t believe in ourselves. Then we need people like all of you to help us discover what we can do and what we can change. This allows me to teach my brother and sister at NPH that the skills we have are important and that we can make many changes together.

I’ve also discovered that when I am hurting, I need to stop. This is important! Knowing myself is important to my leadership, because it will help me to know when to ask for help, take time to take care of myself, or just keep going!

I’m so happy to go back home and share my experiences with my family and community in El Salvador. I’m exited to finish my psycology degree at the university and use it to help other people, especially those with  special needs.

In conclusion, I would like to say thank you to all of you for making this experience possible. Some special thanks you to my host family, Donna Egge, Jacqueline, the NPH office, leap, Cathy Callan family, Bubar Family and all of my friends. And again, thanks for being part of my history. You are my favorite chapter. Gracias.


My Homestay

David came up to me one day, telling me about how excited he was about a volunteering event he attended with his homestay. He was excited and felt good helping the folks he was with. He wanted to share a bit about it with you in his own English:


Living in West Seattle with this amazing people like Norene and Jacob has been phenomenal so far. They had told me about some of the volunteering they do since they are both retired. They both work at St. Vincent de Paul–which is a group of people that work with a purpose for people in need. Jacob and Norene have been volunteering there for twenty years with a joy and passion for helping others. The organization is huge, but my family only works in the West Seattle area. The Guadalupe Church provides them a place in order to plan and attend their meetings every week. They offer food, furniture, rent and clothing to people in need.

One day, I had a day off of school, and I decided to help them with some of the deliveries during the morning. Jacob, Norene and I had a typical Friday delivering couches, a sofa, a bed, a twin bed, and a set of drawers. Once we arrived at the place with all the things, the family that we met was very kind, grateful and blessed for the support. After that, we ate a well-deserved breakfast and talked a lot about our lives. In conclusion, learning from them makes me feel at home. The way they help the community will remain with me as I go home to Guatemala and try to serve the community there.



A Letter of Gratitude

I asked Roxana to share a little bit about what her experience was speaking at Faces of Hope. In this blog, she talks about the challenge of speaking, but how it was possible because she had support from her community. A link to Roxana’s speech can be found here. Thank you to all your support for NPH! 

Faces of hope is a great opportunity that is very important for us at NPH as a family. It is one of the ways that we raise funds to continue educating, feeding, clothing and caring for our family. These actions wouldn’t be possible if people like you didn’t exist. I know that merely saying thank you feels short, but we at NPH really feel thankful and blessed to have people like you helping us achieve our dreams. thank YOU for being part of our personal story. Thanks to folks like you, my story is told differently.

I would like to thank all the people that helped me prepare for when I shared a bit about my life at Faces of Hope. A big thank you to my homestay, to the people who work so hard in the NPH USA office, to Bob and Jacqueline, and to my brothers and sisters in NPH. Thanks to all the godparents, benefactors, friends and volunteers who make NPH possible.

I must admit that when they asked me if I was ready to share a bit about my life, I did not feel ready whatsoever. I was scared, and my head immediately began to bring back memories of my childhood. It was a mix of many emotions–happiness and tragedy. With all of these memories, I decided that I had to challenge myself. It was not easy to talk in another language in front of so many people. It was something that caught me off guard. But thanks to all the people who took time to support me with patience and love, I was able to overcome the challenge. Now, I know that anything is possible because I am not along in this journey. It’s easier when people are there to support me. I am and forever will be thankful for the work that YOU do to make NPH and my great family possible.

Roxy FOH



Trying out Therapy

One of the resources that NPH and the Seattle Institute offer our students is counseling and therapy. Between all the stress and adjustment, it is helpful to find spaces that are safe and confidential to process. Our therapists that we partner with are trained and highly skilled in cross-cultural situations, fluent in Spanish and familiar with NPH. David writes a little about his experience in his own English!

When I came to this program, I had never asked for an appointment and visited a therapist, because I had a negative image of going to a psychologist. My first time was in December when Jacqueline asked us to visit just one time.  I really didn’t want to go because I have had bad experiences. I did not know how the therapy worked here in the United States.

However, I had to go before my trip to Minnesota for Christmas. Once I arrived to the therapist’s office, I was happy. We were able to meet with Kara King, who is an amazing person. I realized that it was a little difficult to express all the things that I wanted to say because I was nervous and I did not know how to start. During my time in Seattle, sometimes I feel like I’m alone. I think about my University, friends in my country, trying to learn a new language, and I begin to lose sense of this program. So then, I began talking about Seattle with Kara. For example, my homestay, school, leadership formation, Seattle’s culture and a little bit about myself.

I really enjoyed my time with Kara despite everything, I felt very comfortable at the end because I could express myself freely. In conclusion, I am taking advantage of this opportunity that NPH offers me. Sometimes, we are looking for someone to tell our personal things to, or you might even have your own person! But if you need any help, you can talk with your loved ones, Jacqueline, or even go to therapy.

Womxn’s March in Seattle

Saravia and her homestay participated in the Women’s March in Seattle, which was one of the largest marches ever recorded. She writes about the importance of women’s rights and her experience in her own English!

I attended this march because my host family firmly believes that women’s rights are also human rights. 130,000 people joined in this event to demonstrate that women are not what the president of this country believes or says. Men also joined this march to demonstrate that they respect the existence of women.

I am very surprised with what happened in this march. Because it makes me think a lot about my country and it makes me very sad because my country is going through the same political situations, and I think even worse. In my country corruption is like a disease–everywhere you can see it. Citizens of my country put a president in office who does not respect the constitution of the republic, a person who steals money from the people, a person who left thousands of families without social insurance. But the citizens of Honduras will never make a march like the one I saw in Seattle .

Finally, i hope that the American people will remain strong and united. To fight for their rights and values, to fight for a better country for future generations and for the rights of immigrants


My Experience with iLeap

Below, Jimmy writes about spending time with iLeap a few weeks ago. 

On March 30 and 31st, we spent time at iLeap. They were two days full of happiness, learning, and much reflection for me. It was so good to see the wonderful people that work there as they shared their knowledge and friendship with us.

Those two days were full of learning because I had the opportunity to learn many new things. I learned that vulnerability affects us in many difference situations and that sometimes we become victims of our own lack of confidence and trust.

My favorite activity was that we had to represent our lives as a river. It made me reflect a lot as we had to draw about our lives in past, present and future tense. This impacted me, because it made me think about the things that happened to me in the past that continue to affect me presently. The activity helped me think about the manner of how I’m living my life now and how life could be in the future.

In conclusion, I feel very grateful to iLeap for all their support!



El pasado 30 y 31 de Marzo compartimos tiempo con el personal de iLEAP. Fueron dos días llenos de alegría, conocimiento y de mucha reflexión para mí. Fue muy alegre porque pude ver una vez más la gente linda que trabaja ahí y que comparte su conocimiento y su amistad con todo el que lo necesita.

Fueron días llenos de conocimiento porque tuve la oportunidad de aprender muchas y nuevas cosas como, la manera en la que la vulnerabilidad nos afecta en tantas situaciones y a veces no nos damos cuenta que somos víctimas de nuestra misma inseguridad.


La parte que mas me encanto y que me hizo reflexionar muchísimo fue la de representar nuestra vida en forma de un rio y dividida entre pasado, presente y futuro. Esa me impacto porque me hizo pensar en cosas que no fueron muy buenas en mi pasado y que de alguna u otra manera me están afectando en mi presente, al darme cuenta de eso sentí mucha satisfacción porque gracias a esa actividad estaba revisando mi vida.

La actividad mi vida como un rio me ayudo muchísimo a retroceder hacia mi pasado, pensar en la manera en la que estoy viviendo en mis años actuales y también me ayudo a pensar de la manera en la que me visualizo en algunos años. En conclusion, me siento muy agradecido con iLEAP por el trabajo que han realizado con nosotros como NPH y en especial conmigo.