Ever’s Graduation Speech


Good afternoon everyone!

My name is Ever Terrazas Balderrama and I am from NPH Bolivia. Currently, I am studying in the university in NPH Mexico. I am grateful for this opportunity that NPH has given me, because in two days I return to Mexico as a better person. I will finish two classes and receive my degree in Industrial Engineer.

This time in Seattle has been helpful for me because I learned about myself. What abilities I have and what abilities I need to improve. I learned about what leadership means to me, and how I am a leader. A leader is the person who always find the best for everyone that is part of the group and involves everyone in making a decision. I believe when we work together, we can make big difference for the people that live around us and need our help.

I think if I want to be a good leader, I need to have a good relationship with myself, which will let me make better decisions in my life, and work well in the community that I am part.

When I return, my vision is that everyone in NPH before they leave the house opens a savings account that they use to save a bit of money each month. I’ve learned from experience that it is hard for pequenos to leave the house when they don’t have money saved. Thus, I want to coordinate with university staff so that each pequeno in their final year of university is saving money. I will find out which banks we can work with this year, before implementing the program next year. I also will begin mentoring students in how to transition from living in NPH to outside. I want to empower pequenos to become responsible adults.

Finally, I want to say thanks my family (David, Karen, Elias, Joshua), and all of you for helping us in Seattle. In the beginning was very difficult for me because my English was very bad but now I think is a little better!

Thank you!!

Maria’s Graduation Speech

Hello my name is María Girón and I am from NPH Honduras. I’m very grateful to the Seattle Institute for letting me be one of their students. Through this year, I have learned a lot and I have had the opportunity to live with a great family and dog.

During this year, I have learned about leadership and myself. I learned that being a great leader is not just doing what needs to be done, but taking initiative to help others. I have learned that if I want to be a great leader I must know myself and use my gifts for the benefit of others.

When I go back to my country, I plan to work on a team that can teach sexual and reproductive education to our girls and boys, because I think that it is important to start a program where the kids can learn about themselves and ask questions openly.

This is important to me because until now, I didn’t realize that the kind of leader I want to be is the one that fights and works for women’s rights. To be able to achieve this, I will prepare myself as best as I can. I will invite experts that are as passionate as I am to speak about this. My team will include a doctor, a psychologist, and a catechist, so that we can provide holistic and correct information to our boys and girls.

I’m very grateful with all the people involved with the Seattle institute but I want to give an special thanks to my host family, you guys have made this year easy and fun for me. You have taught me a lot and I am so glad that you guys were the ones chosen as my family. I really think that I could not have any other better family as you. I want to thank you for pushing me to do things that I like, and encouraging me to do the things I don’t like. You gave me a great experience and taught me how important family is.

Now that the program is finishing for us, I am leaving with an immense satisfaction. I am grateful for the things that I learned, the places I went, the people I met, and the great teacher we had. I’m excited to see where the person I’m becoming goes in the future.


Yomara’s Graduation Speech

Hello Everyone,

My name is Yomara Hernandez and I am from Nicaragua.

As I stand here today, I not only come close to ending this chapter in my life, but also to recount the past ten wonderful months here.  It has been an honor to be a part of this program and to share in this wonderful experience with all of you. An experience in which I obtained a lot of new knowledge, such as self-care, feedback, communication, and many more.  Also, during this journey being away from Nicaragua, I have noticed that I am ready to go back and share what I’ve gained as a teacher.

My big vision when I return to Nicaragua is to create more possibility of free education for people in the communities where having education have been difficult.  For me education offer a better opportunity in life and better possibility to be more successful.  I am determined to create a youth group from NPH, motivate them to share with people with less opportunity.

I would like to thank to my entire NPH family in Seattle.  All this experience, vision and knowledge would not have been possible without you.  Thank you for putting your trust in me and guiding me through this process. Mona and John, you have been Angels in my life.  Thank you for opening your home, heart and sharing wonderful moments with me. Thank you to all my mentors. Thank you to all my teachers in Seattle Central College who guided me in receiving the best education possible!!! I am also thankful to all the Seattle Institute Leadership students, I am so proud of us.  I really enjoyed my time together.

I am so excited to go back to Nicaragua and share my experiences in Seattle. I am looking forward to hugging my entire family and tell them how much I missed them. I am also ready to eat a delicious gallopinto and tasty Nacatamal 😊

Thank you!!

Farid’s Graduation Speech

IMG_8408I’m Farid Morel. I’m from Honduras. To start, I would like to thank God for our life, health and all the opportunities. I thank Fr. Wasson for giving us our extended family of Nuestros Pequenos Hemanos.

I remember those emotional moments, when I left Honduras and arrived at the Seattle airport where Jacqueline and all the homestays were waiting for us. I felt uncertain about the beginning of the new chapter in my life. Now, it has been almost 10 months in Seattle and it has been an amazing experience.

I have gained important tools to be an effective leader and serve for my community when I go back to Honduras. For example, with my new knowledge, I’d like to contribute to NPH by creating a program where those who grew up at NPH, like HM, can get to know better and accompany each pequenos atIMG_8680 NPH. I feel that this will make NPH more united.  Because I believe that when pequenos have more connection with HMs, they will find more support and purpose in their lives.  As HM myself, I feel called and committed to help each pequenos who needs support.

Now, I would like to thank Peach and David for opening your house and being part of my journey. I’m grateful to both of you for including me and making me feel a part of your family.

I want to thank Jacqueline for her unconditional support as a good leader in our NPH family. I also want to thank Donna, all the NPH staff, homestays, MAPFRE, ILEAP, mentors and sponsors. Thanks for believing in our extended family, because none of this would be possible without you.

Finally, I would also like to share with all the students Ever, Yomara, Maria, Darling and Darich. The world may be falling in pieces around us, but this is when we have to become brave, follow our curiosity, be ambitious and not abandon our dreams…because in this moment the world needs us the most.

Thank you!IMG_8614

Darlyn’s Graduation Speech


My name is Darlyn, and I consider myself as a philanthropist – which means people helping other people.  And, I am a strong and resilient woman from Guatemala.

The experience of being outside of my country and far from the people who’ve supported me has been very difficult, and, at the same time very constructive.  They have made me wiser and stronger for me to continue having this kind of experience, which will help me for the rest of my life.

Leadership for me means much more than just guiding people to achieve an objective. It is to inspire others and love what we are co-creating as a team.

I consider that one of my skills is to be able to communicate with people, which I believe to be very important.  Since people need to know how to articulate so that they can participate in creating the vision together.

I want to be able to inspire people in the course of my life so that those who I work with can continue to be the agents of change. I believe that when wIMG_8607e know ourselves better, we are able to inspire the rest of the people around us.

When I return to NPH, I want to find ways of creating healthier community inside and outside of NPH.  At NPH, I would like to teach pequenos and tias about healthy lifestyle.  As a physical therapist, I know that having a healthy lifestyle is challenging for many people.  But it benefits us all in terms of quality of life.  I would like to give workshops to staff about how to care for their own health while they take care of pequenos.  I also want to help our pequenos to learn about how to be healthy.

IMG_8686I want to thank all the people who have been in this process which has shaped me to be a more committed person with more goals. Especially to my homestay, Boysen Family, my mentors, Carry, Christina, and Lisa.

Thank you

Darich’s Graduation Speech

Good afternoon everyone! My name is Darich Muñoz and I’m from NPH Nicaragua.

It’s amazing how time goes by so fast; it seems that it was a week ago that we arrived in Seattle and that I just blinked and here we are almost on our way to return to our countries.

The Seattle Institute Program has been a unique experience that has marked my life for many reasons. One of these reasons is the incredible family that opened the doors of their house and mainly of their heart to welcome me as a member of their own family. With them, Roger and Judy Paulsen, I have shared many beautiful moments that I will always appreciate in a special way. There were also other people like mentors, and those who are in love with NPH that are the reason why this experience has been incredible and easier to assimilate.

This experience has made me more aware of my abilities and skills as a leader, but it has also highlighted what makes me vulnerable and what I still have to work on. I hope to have the opportunity to put into practice what I have learned in this program and be an influence for others in the NPH family and society in general.

Once I return to my country, I would like to create a mentoring group for NPH kids. Many pequenos have come to me saying that they have troubles trusting other people whom they don’t know well. I think it is important that we look for new options that can help the kids deal with some of the problems they have to face. I would like to work with our team of psychologists to train mentors who are also pequenos so that they can listen and provide support to peers who need it. This way, pequenos can connect more with others and build stronger, more reliable relationships. I hope this initiative will give leadership opportunities to older pequenos, and that this relationship will provide safe spaces for pequenos to find support and feel the love they deserve.

To finish, I am truly grateful to NPH and the Seattle community for joining us on this special day. It is because of you and your selfless love that this work is possible. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing us this fantastic opportunity because it is a great step to know how to serve as true leaders to our NPH family and in any area of our lives.