Who Could Have Imagined: Home at Last
By Sister Rose M.
As I sit here evaluating bids for signage on our new building, I’m tempted to emblazon Catherine McAuley’s words, Take from my heart all painful anxiety.” For as I reflect on the past 11 years, who would have imagined this incredible journey of our ministry – Hope Partnership Education Center.
It all began January 14, 2001. Three Sisters of Mercy and four Sisters of the Holy Child Jesus gathered to begin a conversation about a partnership in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the city of Philadelphia where less than 50 percent of students are on track to finish high school.
Who could have imagined that Hope, an independent middle school and adult education center, would be graduating 15 8th-grade students each year? Students like Danya, whose favorite subject is science. Danya catches the trolley at 6 a.m. every morning. From the trolley she takes the train and then hops onto the bus before finally arriving at school.
Danya didn’t like school before she came to Hope three years ago. There was a lot of bullying at the school she originally attended and it affected her grades. Within her first year at Hope, Danya improved to all A’s and B’s. She recalls bringing home her first honor roll report card to her mother. “She broke down in tears,” Danya remembers.
Many students at Hope have similar stories. Some graduates have gone on to college, while college acceptance letters are coming in for current high school seniors.
Who could have imagined that, after 11 years of ups and downs, Hope would be moving into its own building (following renovations to be completed in mid-April) located just three-quarters of a mile away from the current rental space, nestled in a neighborhood often robbed of hope? We rejoice once again in the Providence of God…so amazingly evident throughout these first 11 years.