A program that works


Shayna P., Student, Christel House DORSShayna P., Student, Christel House DORS

When I talk about the Christel House Drop-Out Recovery School, or DORS, I speak with a strong sense of pride.

My name is Shayna, and I am 19 years old. I dropped out of high school in my junior year. Since then, I have tried many other forms of education. I have tried a daytime alternative education program, a nighttime credit recovery program, general education diploma preparation classes, and an at home online school. It never took me long to realize that these specific programs would not work for me.

Then why is this program so different? Why am I so proud to be a DORS student? There are so many reasons. The biggest reason for me is because at Christel House I don’t feel like a dropout. I don’t feel like I am just picking up where I left off. I am still in high school, but I'm also moving forward; working toward my life goals. The DORS program offers college classes as well as high school classes. For that reason I am moving forward with my education. Before the DORS program, college had never been an option for me. Now it’s more than an option. After attending the DORS program for only seven weeks, college is within my grasp.

The DORS program has given me much more than the opportunity to further my education. It has also helped me become employed and regain my self confidence. It has put me in contact with some wonderful people whom I feel I could go to for anything. Any time I have a question, or if I need general advice, there is always someone at DORS that is more than happy to help me in any way they can. For example, my research specialist is not just a research specialist, she is a mentor. I can go to her for anything. She has multiple degrees and is a very educated woman. Being around people like my mentor makes me realize that I can do anything and that becoming educated is possible, even for someone like me.

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“I am what I am today, thanks to Christel House”


Deibis L., Christel House Graduate, Christel House VenezuelaDeibis L., Christel House Graduate, Christel House Venezuela

My name is Deibis. I am 22 years old and I graduated from Christel House Venezuela (CHV) in 2007.

My life as a student at CHV was very good, since they gave me the tools to continue forward and never surrender to the obstacles. Looking back to those school years I realize that I became an expert in problem solving, as my teachers provided me with the necessary values and strategies to be a successful citizen. They taught me that money is important in life, but integrity, independence, respect and responsibility are key values to succeed as a professional.

After I graduated, I decided to study IT, but the truth is that I changed my mind along the way and decided to change careers and study Social Communication (a career that groups journalists, media and network professionals as well as movie and commercial makers). Since childhood I have always been attracted to TV, movies, media and arts. Dancing is also an important part of my life.

My life as a student at the Santa Rosa Catholic University has been incredible. The best career that can exist in this world is Social Communication. It gives you many values both professionally and personally, all related to personal improvement.

Last month, I received my career degree. The path was difficult, but not impossible.

Parallel to my career, I also have a passion for giving dance classes. The school has given me the opportunity to share my knowledge with all the students from the school in a dance club during after school hours. Dance for me is everything; it is the language that allows me to express my emotions. As I always say, “Dance is the pure expression of the soul.” In this way I can share what I most love in the world with other kids that are like I used to be 10 years ago, in the place that taught me to be like I am right now.

I am simply grateful to Christel House Venezuela for always giving me a helping hand, both in the good times and also the bad ones. I can say with no doubt that I am what I am today, thanks to Christel House Venezuela.

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I will forever be a Christel Houser!


Kyle D., Christel House Graduate, Christel House South AfricaKyle D., Christel House Graduate, Christel House South Africa

I have truly been blessed to have attended Christel House South Africa, because it impacted my life in a major way. While being a student at Christel House, I have realized how to appreciate the little things. I have been taught what it means to be grateful and also what it is to be loved by so many people. The opportunities I received at Christel House have really been overwhelming. Who would’ve thought at the age of 15, I would find myself in the USA? They nurtured the talents that I had, and they helped me to grow into the person that I am today. I will forever be grateful for what Christel House has done for me.

While at Christel House, I met a lot of people from different backgrounds who had different stories, but the most overwhelming feeling was meeting Ms. Christel DeHaan. She is such a kind and humble person, with so much love. God has really blessed us with a wonderful Mother. Today I am proud of where I am in life. I am currently studying music at UCT (University of Cape Town), and I just want to thank Christel House for helping me achieve my goals and for helping me aspire in life.

I will forever be a Christel Houser!

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A powerful example of what can be accomplished when we all come together


Marlene A., English Teacher, Christel House MexicoMarlene A., English Teacher, Christel House Mexico

My name is Marlene, and my experience as an English teacher would not be the same without Christel House Mexico.

A few years ago, I worked in the world of tourism.  I thought I was happy working for wealthy people and planning amazing holidays for them; however after a few years, I felt like something was missing.

I believe that a higher power organizes everything in a perfect and synchronistic path and all of a sudden I found myself changing careers.  I decided to become an English teacher because I thought I could contribute with the growth of my country through education.

This path was not easy at the beginning. But my first visit to Christel House during a job interview changed my life.  It turned out to be a significant experience that has impacted both my personal life and career plans.  This was when I allowed myself to see the path and I found out that all the pieces of the puzzle were drawn together.

I felt privileged to be chosen to be part of this wonderful cause and to be able to work with amazing people who give the best of their hearts to these kids every day.

Every day is a challenge, but also a blessing to share a piece of my life and my heart with the kids.  They have given me great lessons of tenderness, love and strength.

The needs of the children are immeasurable and I remain amazed by their sheer strength, determination, dignity and their hope for a better future.

Sharing a great part of my day with the kids whose drive and passion continues to inspire me day-by-day make me feel stronger and very fortunate.

Christel House is such a powerful example of what can be accomplished when we all come together for a common good, and I feel very happy to be part of this team.

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A memorable trip to the USA


Daniel S., Student, Christel House India

I have attended Christel House for the past nine years. I am now in the 8th grade. Christel House has given me so much that I will be forever grateful for. Of all the opportunities they have given me, my trip to the USA to attend the Culver Academy is the most memorable. This summer, I made lots of friends from different parts of the world. I have learnt many new sports, which I would never have dreamt of playing before. Learning to swim was one of my favorite things, because it was such a new experience and has given me a new lifelong skill. I also really enjoyed learning to sail, ice skate and play soccer. Every day at Culver was a new experience for me. I had to complete five leadership tests to earn medals, which I am now proud to wear on my Culver uniform. The last day was the saddest because I had to leave all my friends, but it brings me joy to know I will see them again next summer!

After camp I was lucky to go on many different trips. It was nice to visit Christel Ma’am’s house. We spent the day there and I even got to try out kayaking on ma’am’s lake. That was the most unforgettable day, and it will always stick with me. Our trip to New Jersey and New York gave me the chance to see more of the country and do some things I would not get to do in India. I really enjoyed seeing the Statue of Liberty and shopping in New York. I would like to give a special thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Holmes and Mr. Geoff for spending time with us, and to the Wyndham company for hosting us.

Special thanks to RCI for organizing so much for us. I would also like to thank Becky and Mandi (from Christel House) from the bottom of my heart for taking care of us and treating us like their own children. The biggest thanks goes to Christel Ma’am. I’m already counting down the days to next year’s camp!

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Christel House made me who I am today


Nadine D., Head Girl, Christel House South AfricaNadine D., Head Girl, Christel House South Africa

I have only been here for nine years and so much has transpired.  When I started at Christel House South Africa I was an average student in terms of academics, and Christel House South Africa has unearthed my intellectual potential of which I was not fully aware.  I never envisioned that I’d be the hardworking, dedicated and self motivated young lady that I am today.

I’ve also become an extremely responsible and considerate human, something which I can definitely ascribe to Christel House South Africa.  Our four core values, namely Respect, Responsibility, Independence and Integrity, played an integral part.

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Caring, sharing and making a difference everywhere


Maricela “Maggie” B., Alumni and Staff, Christel House MexicoMaricela “Maggie” B., Alumni and Staff, Christel House Mexico

I am proud to be part of this big family, which is Christel House. I have two major reasons for this, the first one responds to the fact that I have formed and grown professionally in it. The second one is because it is aware of our society and people who need it most; people who trust and put their hopes in it.

Donors and staff are convinced that all together we will be able to improve the quality of lives, not only the ones of those who have grown up at Christel House, but also the lives of future generations.

Today, I know that as an alumni of Christel House Mexico, the best way to survive is in the memory of others and helping and supporting this great mission. I am a part of their lives, giving them the best of me, the same way Christel House Mexico gave to me. I want to thank everyone for believing in me.

To those who are part of Christel House Mexico, I would like to send a message of optimism, looking inside the force that brought you to work and support this beautiful and amazing task. Do not lose the faith and please continue believing in our children.

Today I know that some others need us too, and I`m going to support them by being a good role model: caring, sharing and making a difference everywhere.

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A valuable experience


Dhanaraj K., Art Teacher, Christel House IndiaDhanaraj K., Art Teacher, Christel House India

Teaching art in Christel House India has been a valuable experience for me. This is thanks to my students, for they remind me that art pedagogy cannot be confined within the walls of the classroom, rather it goes beyond all conventions. They extended the possibilities of art into a politically creative, socially committed and culturally valued medium. For children, visual art is an artistic, creative and reflective medium to present, represent and critically articulate their everyday lives. I am always delighted to see the creative work of my students and their perceptions of society and their surroundings. The lines, bright colors, shades and reflections, and sometimes even the forms and contents, are in tune with the rhythms of their world. I help to channel these talents more vibrantly and encourage them to explore the possibilities of art as a medium for creative expression.

As part of an extended activity, the students and I worked on a sketchbook exchange project with two schools across the globe. We also successfully finished a project on mural graffiti in Christel House India and in a few government schools as part of a collaboration to try to bring visual art into the public sphere.

For me, joining Christel House India was a significant turning point in my life. For the last 11 years, teaching visual media and taking part in pedagogical exercise has given me a platform to communicate to my students and society at large. It gave me opportunities to meet other artists in this field and learn from them. I am deeply indebted and grateful to Ms. Christel DeHaan and the Christel House India management team for their extended and enormous support, and for giving me the freedom to develop creative art inside and outside the classrooms.

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“I will model integrity by being honest and having self-control”


Andi B., Student, Christel House Academy, Indianapolis, INAndi B., Student, Christel House Academy, Indianapolis, IN

This is one of the four core values that has stuck with me and has impacted my life.

First, my teachers push me to show integrity by telling the truth about completing homework or attending class. I think my teachers this year set higher expectations and higher standards, so when I get to college I will be more prepared. This challenges me to work harder toward reaching my future goal of becoming a Sports Manager or Autism Specialist.

Christel House Academy has also helped me develop my own self-control by teaching me to think before I act. Practicing good self-control is something that helps me not only in the classroom, but also on the volleyball court.

Integrity and self-control are two values that I will continue to follow in my life. Due to dedicated administrators, teachers, and peers, Christel House Academy has been a positive experience for me.

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Life-changing since the first day


Libni C., Student, Christel House MexicoLibni C., Student, Christel House Mexico

My name is Libni.  I am 14 years old and I have been at Christel House since first grade.

Christel House has changed my life since the first day that I attended my classes seven years ago. For me, it is a great opportunity, because if I compare Christel House Mexico with other schools, I can feel that our academic level is better and higher because of the teachers. I know they give 100 percent to their passion and commitment to this noble cause.

Christel House Mexico has given me the necessary tools to have a better life in order to reach my goals and dreams; also they support our economy by providing us with uniforms, healthy meals and school supplies. Thanks to Christel House, my family and I have learned to live with respect, responsibility, independence and integrity. Because of that, I’m able to share with my classmates and with my new friends from the summer camp that I visited last summer.

This summer camp was something that Christel House motivated me to achieve, and finally when I was there I realized the importance of applying the values to your life and to be well-prepared with good life skills. I had the opportunity to live and apply all the things that everyone has taught me here. I feel very proud that I had the opportunity to meet our Christel House cousins from different centers all over the world, like India and South Africa; it was an unforgettable experience.

I want to thank you for helping me to achieve my goals of being a committed, responsible person, a good citizen for my country, a good daughter to my parents and a good sister. Finally, I would like to say that Christel House is my second home, the place where children grow physically and spiritually.

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Christel House Lavasa has given meaning to my existence


Nalini G., Principal, Christel House IndiaNalini G., Principal, Christel House India

Two years ago I came to Lavasa to be a part of the school being set up there for its rural children; many of them first generation learners. With its picturesque setting, its silent lakes, its steep mountains, gushing waterfalls, myriad hues of varying color, I thought I had entered a dreamland with a dream job.

We started brick by brick, child by child, but soon realized that there were many challenges. Rumblings of distrust became palpable in the local parent communities. They could not believe that there could be an English medium school totally free of cost that also provided food, transportation, and medical facilities. Their doubts translated into rumors that an English medium school will make our children misfits in society... once children are admitted they will be forced to pay fees or donations. Well, I suppose in today’s world, philanthropy is rarely understood and almost never believed. Subsequently, more challenges surfaced. Finding teachers became a Herculean task. Distance, difficult terrain, and uncongenial weather were huge dampeners. Three months of continuous rainfall resulted in frequent absenteeism in children. And then there was the challenge of getting children to learn the English language, language which would empower and connect them to the world.

We sincerely, assiduously and determinedly went about our work. Creative and interesting ways to induct our children into the language were thought out. As fish take to water, our children took to the language. Their eagerness acted as a spur for our teachers. Communities started understanding the transformation in their kids and acknowledged our efforts by conferring an award on us.

And today, when I see the happy faces of our children and staff walking in every day to school with irrepressible enthusiasm defying all odds, I am humbled by their sheer determination. I salute the resilient human spirit which teaches that all challenges are meant to be surmounted. Christel House Lavasa has indeed given a meaning to my existence.

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More Hope, Less Desperation


Tim L., Special Education Teacher, Christel House Academy, Indianapolis, INTim L., Special Education Teacher, Christel House Academy, Indianapolis, IN

"Are you married?” “Do you have kids?” “Can I eat with you?” “Will you come get me during class?”

These and a thousand other questions, seemingly unrelated to learning, fill a middle school teacher’s year. Yet, in these queries, I find the nuances and building blocks of healthy and trustful relationships with my students. A small group of 7th graders showed me the necessity of always treating the most whimsical statements with care.  In turn, I believe that I showed them how to navigate the choppy waters of adolescence with just a little more determination.

Each student bears a label, whether or not they are conscious of it. (And these are labels making no one any more popular.) Throughout the course of the year, I saw this small group of students evolve past “disabled,” past “I can’t”, into simply being “differently abled” and saying with grit, “I presently struggle with.”

These few began to embody the core values repeated every morning. Parent conversations became filled with more hope and less desperation. Students advocated for themselves, acknowledged the need for help, and accepted an extended hand. Even with the changing of school years and my role at Christel House Academy, these students come back to check in. Their continued growth remains evident, and in their victories, I realize my own.

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Helping children and their families


Alin S., Outreach Coordinator, Christel House Mexico

By: Alin S., Outreach Coordinator, Christel House Mexico

 

Violeta is a 37 year old single mother of two children, Israel (8 years old) and Luz Alondra (7 years old).  Both children are Christel House Mexico students in 4th and 3rd grade respectively.  Mrs. Violeta only has an elementary school education and struggles to provide for her children. Her own childhood and adolescence were filled with addictions, physical violence, poverty and neglect.  She didn’t want her children to face the same future, but didn’t know where to turn for help.

 

When I first visited her home, I discovered that she and the children only ate one meal a day. She has no stove or refrigerator which also limits her meal options. Because of the crime and violence near her home, she is too afraid to leave her children home alone while she works.  After school each day, she takes them with her to her job as a maid. They often don’t return home until late at night.

 

A few weeks after the children started classes at Christel House, Mrs. Violeta told me "I knew there had to be a place to help families like us." No doubt this phrase has become a message of motivation and opportunity for all of us at Christel House.

 

Because there is so much trauma in the lives of our students and their families, Christel House Mexico offers family therapy.  Soon after enrolling her children, Mrs. Violeta began attending the therapy sessions on a weekly basis. After many sessions, she now recognizes herself as a person with dignity, with courage and she has learned to love herself. She recognizes the importance of caring for and raising her children in a positive environment, in spite of all the economic hardships they face. She also regularly attends our parent workshop program.  She is working hard to be a good parent and ensure that her children have a better life.  

 

She also hopes to one day be able to help other families like Christel House has helped her and her children. 

 

To learn more about Mrs. Violeta and her children, click here.

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From Christel House India to Culver Summer Leadership Camp in the USA


Zakeer H., Christel House India

I started my journey with Christel House at the age of 9 in grade 3. I remember that day when I entered this institution, holding my mother’s hand with great anxiety about life at Christel House. What followed was a life changing experience.

 

Christel House is a place which gives you everything and in return requires nothing but commitment, discipline and focus. Christel House gave me everything from food to clothes, education and values.  The credit completely goes to the Christel House teachers. They showed a great amount of patience, love and care.

 

Christel House gave me the opportunity to go to the USA - a dream come true for me and my family. I remember the day, 21st of June 2009 when I first stepped into the aircraft and was overwhelmed with the idea of flying to a distant land. I went to the United States and met the rest of my Christel House family.

 

I was able to attend Culver Summer Leadership Camp - a place that trains you on leadership skills, sports, education, life skills etc.  During the first few weeks of camp, I learned how to march in true U.S Navy style. I took up classes like swimming and sailing and learnt games like soccer, American football, baseball.  I also taught my new friends some cricket too. I learned interesting things like fly-fishing, wind surfing and many more things.

 

I had new roommates each summer and made friends from all over the world. I feel proud that I have so many friends all over the world. Every year was different and interesting with new friends and different experiences.  I earned my U.S certification for sailing and I feel proud that I was known as the second best sailor of the year. I was a proud Indian at that moment. Attending leadership camp was the most interesting part of my life so far. It came true thanks to Christel House. Any amount of words will fall short for how grateful I feel for what Christel House has given me. Thank you, Christel Ma’am.

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A profound impact


Jill M., Student Advisor, Christel House Indianapolis, IN

By: Jill M., Student Advisor, Christel House Indianapolis, IN

 

Before I began providing full-time mental health and support services to students and families at Christel House Academy five years ago, I was in the building one day a week as part of a larger program serving twelve schools.  I was drawn to both the staff and students of CHA and by the positive family atmosphere that encompasses the education experience.  I did not see this atmosphere at other schools and was determined that this was a place where I could make a difference with kids and grow professionally and personally. 

 

If I told the students what a positive influence they have had on my life, and how their stories and lives have helped shaped me into a better person, they would most likely laugh and tell me I am being such a “counselor.”  But, their impact on me is both unavoidable and profound. 

 

I love talking with students who have grown up through CHA and are now in our high school program.  Many will be the first in their families to graduate from high school and definitely the first to attend college. 

 

This year, I couldn’t hide my excitement when one student asked me to fill out a recommendation letter for a summer college prep program.  This same student told me three years ago that she “wasn’t meant for college” and didn’t think it was right for her.  I asked her to keep college in mind and talked with her about the programs and careers in which she would excel.  Because of the academic attention and support of CHA, she has decided on her own that college is the right path for her.

 

Every day I step through CHA’s doors, I know I could witness and be a part of changing a student’s life and forever altering their future for the good.  It is such a privilege!

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A story from a Christel House India graduate and current RCI India employee


Saravana, Christel House India Graduate and Current RCI India Employee

It was a dream come true for me to be a part of Christel House India when I joined the school in 2003 in Grade 5. What followed has left an indelible mark on my personality and who I am today. Books, food, uniforms, friends, wonderful teachers – it was the beginning of a total transformation of life for me and for my family. 

 

Under Christel House’s Work Study mentorship, I was given an option to join RCI. Once I joined RCI, the feeling of changing lives was even more real and familiar. I am happy that RCI’s vacation exchanges make people happy.  I am inspired by the commitment, principles and values of my supervisors here. I am learning from them constantly.  Both Christel House and RCI have been incredible in changing my life.

 

I consider myself blessed to be a Christel House alumni.

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How transforming people’s lives has transformed mine


By: Luis S., Work Study Coordinator, Christel House Venezuela

By: Luis S., Work Study Coordinator, Christel House Venezuela

 

At Christel House Venezuela, I’ve had the privilege of being part of a unique project that has allowed me to participate daily in the formation of citizens for the past 7 years.  I have watched our students grow into proud citizens, professionals and workers dedicated to improving their lives. I’ve had the opportunity to watch them progress from 10 and 11 year old children into university students. I’ve had the privilege of sharing their concerns, problems, mistakes, happiness and triumphs.

 

I have experienced many emotions and thoughts during my time at Christel House. I have felt the fear of knowing our students are in constant danger because of the inhuman wave of violence that affects our city, a threat mainly to young boys between 15 and 25 years old. I’ve felt the pain of crying for a student killed by a gang that had set out to murder one of his brothers. I’ve shared the suffering of parents who worry about daily survival and what the future holds for their children.  I’ve shared the grief of families that just lost their homes and all of their worldly possessions in a sudden landslide. All of these experiences have changed me as a person.  For me, it is not possible to be indifferent or to look the other way when people are suffering and there are so many major social problems.  I know I must help.

 

From a personal perspective, it is easy for me to identify with our kids. I was born and raised near the place where they live. I experienced similar problems and family issues and faced the same threats. This background provides me with the strong conviction that the most effective way to break the cycle of poverty is with education and solid values.

 

Without a doubt, these have been the most important 7 years of my life.  I can’t imagine doing any other type of work. My goal is to help other people to relieve their suffering, expand their opportunities and live a better life.

 

I am in debt to Christel House for giving me this incredible opportunity; the tools to provide support and advice to so many people and the opportunity to be a small part of their lives and give them help to face difficulties, choose careers, universities and jobs. This is how transforming people’s lives has transformed mine.

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Feeding my passion to make a difference


Michelle T., Master Teacher, Christel House Indianapolis, IN

By: Michelle T., Master Teacher, Christel House Indianapolis, IN

 

I have been fortunate enough to be part of the CHA family since inception in 2002.  I’ve been a 3rd and 4th grade teacher, House Lead, Athletic Director for 6 years, Instructional Coach for 2 years and am currently a Master Teacher.

 

At the end of this month, I will have completed my 10th year at CHA.  That’s essentially 1/3 of my life. Fortunately, Christel House Academy has an extremely supportive administration and a staff that bends over backwards and then some for each other and our students.  In my several salutations with Ms. DeHaan, she has made mention of ‘average just isn’t good enough’ and I couldn’t agree more. Every student in the building is my student and it is my job to coach them into being young adults they didn’t even think they could be! 

 

With that comes daily highs and lows and it feeds my passion to make a difference in the lives of these young minds and their families.  So what keeps me coming back each day?  It’s the invitation to an 8th grade graduation party of a student I had 5 years prior, the emails and visits from students who left us in  8th grade before we had a high school, an invitation to a family event, a welcomed home visit, having 3 siblings 3 years in a row and seeing the families keep growing, the student who runs up to you to show you they are a published author, an email from a parent saying ‘can you help me, you know my son better than I do,’ the kid who you’ve mentored for years leaving because they think they want a big High School but they come running back a month later enrolling again because they know Christel House Academy is the best place for them!  It’s the parents that want better for their kids and welcome me in their family to help make that happen! 

 

It is a special place and I’m excited to see what successes the next 10 years will bring.

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A story from a Christel House Mexico graduate


Jesus M., a Christel House Mexico Graduate

My name is Jesus; I attended Christel House Mexico for 9 years. Then, I went to public high school and now I attend the Work Study Program at Christel House. I have already finished high school and this year I will go to College. It has been 12 years since I began attending Christel House.

 

For me, Christel House has been like a second home where they take care of us and give us education, medical services, psychological support and nutritional care. In Christel House I have realized that achieving a dream is possible with perseverance and commitment.

 

Christel House has given me the opportunity to improve my skills and to learn values to become a responsible self-sufficient member of society. Christel House has prepared us to be assertive students with values who can make decisions that benefit us personally and within our society.

 

Christel House also gave me the opportunity to attend the Culver Summer Leadership Camp for three summers. At camp, I learned many things like how to play tennis. I also met many new friends from different countries. One of my favorite activities at camp was sailing. Attending Culver also gave the opportunity to meet Christel House students from India and South Africa. It was great because they are part of my Christel House family. But the most important part was that camp helped me to achieve skills like leadership, teamwork and self-discipline.

 

I hope someday I can become part of this wonderful mission that transforms lives and give back to Christel House much of what it has given to me.

 

I am grateful to Christel House for giving me the opportunity to have a better life. The person who I am today is thanks to Christel House. I will do my best to achieve my goals and become a contributing member of society by helping the people around me.

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Christel House – my guardian angel


Angel K, a Christel House student

I’m Angel and I have been part of Christel House for the past 8 years. My brother joined Christel  House before me and everyday he would come back home and tell me all the interesting things that he used to do at school.  Eventually, I fell in love with Christel House. Later, when I enrolled in Christel House, I knew that this was the place where I can make my dreams come true. Christel House has provided me with all that is required to make my life better. Right from education to food, clothing to medical care, I’m given everything.

 

Christel House provides a platform to showcase our talents whether it be in the field of sports, art, dance, or music. Here, we are helped by a lot of people to realize our dreams. We are given opportunities every now and then. I personally have benefited a lot. I have been taking part in all the academic Olympiads and competitions which have helped me to improve my thinking skills.

 

In my life, I have dreamt of a lot of things like going on an aircraft, visiting the US, buying my favorite car, studying for the entrance exams for Indian Administrative Services and so on. Christel House magically makes everything come true.

 

The best opportunity was when I was sent to the US for three consecutive summers to attend the Culver Summer Leadership Camp.  Culver is the world’s best leadership camp and students from more than 40 countries come to take part. Along with leadership skills, Culver is also known for its military activities, sports, and team spirit. I learnt a lot of new things like water skiing, ceramics, forensic science and most importantly swimming. I made a lot of friends and learnt a little bit about their countries. I felt so good sharing about India. Visiting the US, I have also met my Christel House cousins from other countries. I spent a lot of time with the Christel House staff and their families. When we were in the camp, they talked to us on the phone everyday and made us feel at home. My visit was complete when I met Ms. Christel DeHaan personally. She has been my role model and always will be.

 

Christel House has changed my life dramatically. It has helped me to face obstacles boldly and to face things with confidence. The person I am today, it’s all because of my teachers and all the staff at Christel House.

 

 All the good things that have happened to me are through Christel House.  My family and I are very grateful to Christel House and Christel ma’am who started it all.

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