Tuesday, June 16, 2015

A Message of Gratitude from a Pequeño Who Grew Up at NPH Mexico

Dear Friends:

Let me introduce myself, my name is Gustavo de Jesus Ramirez Rodriguez, I was born in Mexico, and I am now 23, and soon will be 24. I am a medical student in one of the most prestigious medical schools in northern Mexico.

Let me offer my most sincere thanks for everything that this great family has done for me, which I have the honor of being part of - Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos (NPH).

If I may, I will try to summarize how amazing it has been to be a part of this family for over 18 years. I mean, I'll try, because I know that words are not enough to describe the difference they have made in my life and the lives of thousands of children and youth throughout the 9 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Everything started out on September 5, 1996, when I was five years old and accompanied by my four brothers and three sisters, after a period of domestic violence, alcohol problems with my father and his abusiveness in our family, we had the amazing opportunity to be part of this amazing family, where, from the first day we had the opportunity to get access to medical and dental services, education, psychological support, services that we never believed we would have access to. At NPH we belonged to an environment full of love, service, solidarity, trust, fun, friendliness and safety, where everyone around us greeted us with an amazing smile and made us feel part of one big family.

For 18 years I had no problem feeling part of a family at NPH; my family is like any other family in the world, I think the only difference is the number of brothers and sisters, as we have hundreds or thousands, and over time more and more come. With the support of this great family, I can say that my greatest success has been in academics. With access to a quality education, good values, and my own personal growth, I received my primary education, high school education, and eventually college education. During the course of my studies, I was always taught a very simple philosophy that shaped my future… to serve my fellow man. So it was that which I studied toward in high school, a technical career directed to biological science, with the aim to help prepare me for medical school.

Upon finishing my upper secondary education, I was required to perform two years of service to NPH as a way of giving thanks for all I had received. I took care of younger siblings, and it's a way to continue sharing and communicating the importance of serving others - that's how I got the opportunity to start a project on the border between Mexico and the United States in Matamoros; Tamaulipas, one of the states with the highest social disintegration in Mexico.

With this project I learned many things during those two years and had the opportunity to share with the children and youth in the hacienda of Miacatlan, Morelos. What I learned: the value of responsibility, understanding, support; and many other things. These years of service were a time of great reflection through which I made the most important decision in my life. It was a time when I realized many of the lessons of life that our father and founder; Father William Bryce Wasson wanted to convey. During this time, I had the opportunity to prepare to take my entrance examination to college, which I passed successfully, and gave me the opportunity choose between attending two very prestigious universities in Monterrey, Mexico with a full scholarship to complete my studies. It was one of the greatest satisfactions that I personally have had, but I think it's the least I could do to make all those who have made this possible for me feel proud.

Currently, I am in the eighth semester of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Monterrey (UDEM), on full scholarship. I must admit that it has not been an easy road, but this is what I am really passionate about, and it gives me great satisfaction to serve those most in need of my services. Most likely we will not be able to change the health system in my country completely, but I'm quite sure that I will strive to give the best of myself every day to those in need.

During my time at NPH, I have had the opportunity to meet many people who help make the dreams of me and my brothers and sisters come true; people without self-interest are able to give the best of themselves for us, like receiving a letter of congratulations on a birthday, spending time with us on important celebrations such as graduations, or perhaps through financial contributions, they have managed to create an atmosphere of security and love, for thousands and thousands of children and young people. We can never thank them for as much as they have given us, but I guarantee that the seed is being planted now, and will provide very good results.

Friends, thank you for all you do for us. We sincerely appreciate the opportunity you give us to gain access to a better future for our lives. Without you this would not be possible. You are loved and appreciated.



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