A Brilliant Girl

A Brilliant Girl

Franchesca, 13, Dominican Republic

When Franchesca was just nine years old, her mother passed away from a heart attack. Franchesca remembers the weeks leading up to it as very hard time for her family, as her mother struggled to get surgery that kept being delayed until the worst happened. This left Franchesca’s dad to care for her and her eight siblings. However, he was also ill with chronic spinal cord problems and just couldn’t take care of the family. For that reason, the youngest three siblings joined our NPH family in November 2009. Franchesca remembers her first day at NPH well. She arrived with another family of two children right before lunch when everyone was still at school. At lunchtime, she started meeting all of the other children. She says, “They asked lots and lots and lots of questions.”

Since day one at NPH, Franchesca has thrived. She’s gotten top grades in school and exhibited good behavior in her house. When she came to NPH, she started out in the new arrival girls’ house, Santa Rosa, where she lived with her twin sisters. She eventually moved to Santa Ana, which is the house for girls between ages 11 and 14.

Franchesca’s favorite part of NPH is all the unique opportunities and experiences she has. She has a sponsor from Canada who spends part of the year living and working at NPH, and she feels very blessed to be included in his family. This has also inspired her to study English and learn as much as she can about Canada.

This autumn, Franchesca will be leading a girls empowerment group on site called Chicas Brillantes. Last year she completed the course with flying colors and is very excited to share her passion for the course with other girls at NPH.  She has spent the last few weeks planning and preparing, so she can lead some of the classes herself when the course starts.  Franchesca has big dreams that she knows she can achieve if she puts her mind to it. Someday, she hopes to be a dentist and travel to Miami.

Franchesca considers herself very blessed as she still is in close contact with her dad and older siblings. They come and visit her every three months on Family Day, without fail, and she knows they truly care about her. She certainly does not take this for granted, as she knows many of her friends and housemates don’t have any living parents or siblings. She also now considers all of those at NPH from her tías (caregivers), the other children, and the volunteers to be her family.