PHILIPSBURG–A fourteen-year-old pupil who was inspired by University of St. Martin (USM) President Dr. Francio Guadeloupe, visited the USM President at his office recently.
The student Christopher Naar, visited Guadeloupe with his grandmother Gloria Naar. Guadeloupe said in a press release issued on Wednesday that he was made aware that he was an inspiration to Naar and his grandmother, who had heard of USM’s mission of having one person with at least an Associate’s Degree in every household on the island. “Christopher is bent on being that person for his family. In fact he wants even more, as his ambition is to be a lawyer,” the release said.
The teen was quoted as saying: “I want to be a lawyer so I can be a good Parliamentarian or Prime Minister and do something good for St. Maarten and to make my grandmother happy.”
Guadeloupe was invited to attend Naar’s graduation ceremony, where the student will deliver a speech as valedictorian of the Sister Marie Laurence Primary School.
“Christopher presents us with an example of what youngsters achieve when they are willing to work hard and are coached by family and school teachers. Christopher was born in the Dominican Republic and migrated to live with his grandmother at the tender age of 9-years-old,” the release said. “His grandmother… wanted the best for her grandson and reasoned that on St. Maarten, Christopher, would have the opportunity to excel. He enrolled in the Sister Marie Laurence primary school, solely being able to speak Spanish. His Aruban grandmother did what she knew best and took the time with her grandson.”
The grandmother said: “What I got from Aruba, I tried to pass on to the next generation. I used to do a lot of neighbourhood helping. So now I have my old grandchild, I did what I always do. I am passing on what I learn to them. What I learn in Aruba. We all can make it.”
The grandmother’s efforts have borne fruit. Next year her grandson is scheduled to attend HAVO at Milton Peters College. Today he speaks fluent English, Dutch and Spanish.
Guadeloupe has pledged to attend his graduation and in a gesture of reciprocity, the teen and his family will be featured at USM’s commencement ceremony on June 24. Guadeloupe said “it is imperative that we foster these youngsters and support them with their goals.” Guadeloupe has agreed to mentor Christopher throughout his studies.
“Christopher Naar is, but the top of the iceberg of positive minded youngsters here on the island that we cannot and must not let down. They are our future.”