Candles of light to the world—Whether kindergarteners moving up to grade 1 (seen here), or the graduating grade 6 students, the completing grade 10 students and the many students in between, CCS was proud to honor earlier this month our students’ hard work and achievements this past school year. CCS teacher and guidance counselor, Kim Bragas, expressed gratefulness for the privilege of seeing the students move to another level year by year: “It is indeed amazing to see the Lord's faithfulness, not just to the school but to everyone, from the students to the parents. I know that going to school and staying in school is not so easy for the young people we are serving. There are a lot of outside factors that can weigh a student down. That is why, I am very happy to see students move from one level to another and eventually graduate and reach for their big dreams,” said Ms. Bragas. Kindergarten Moving Up Ceremony Grade 6 Graduation Program This year we had a large number of 6th grade graduates (61). Ms. Aileen Yunzal, Elementary Principal, praised our three 6th grade teachers for their love and diligent mentoring of especially students who were struggling. “It is a critical age, grade 6, when some students are considering dropping out.” She credited God’s help that these students are going forward with their lives. She asked for prayer for the home life of our students, their teachers and their academics. By the way, congratulations to Ms. Aileen who just obtained her master’s degree in Educational Management. Recognition Ceremonies Many students were recognized for receiving high honors and honors (139) as well as awards for exemplary character, leadership, athletics, creativity, student service, most improved, perfect attendance and loyalty (those who have attended CCS since grade 1). “The parents were very happy and grateful to see their children’s achievements,” noted CCS teacher Ms. Yvette Masangkay. “There were lots of people recognized for their faithful partnership with the school, including some parents who always made themselves available and able to help out anytime the school needed their assistance,” Masangkay added. (See below) Grade 10 Completion Program This year the Grade 10 completers (36) had the privilege of hearing Mr. Alvin Patrimonio, Team Manager for the Magnolia Hotshots, a professional basketball team in the Philippines, share great advice to our students. He spoke about determination, saying no to drugs and vices that will pull them down, knowing priorities, spending time wisely, being good children to parents, and honoring their school and teachers who are instruments in making their dreams come true. The students were also inspired by the testimony of their classmate, Rhon Ashley Espidillon, who shared her story and challenge to her peers. “We have no control over the circumstances that come into our life. We struggle as we take one step not knowing what lies ahead. We grieve for the losses we think were best. We cry over the things we cannot comprehend and cannot understand. But, I realized that we have a constant God. We have a God we can rely on who promises that He will never leave us nor fail us. I am not confident with anything else, but I am confident in Him. Let us all remember, life with Him will always be worth living and apart from Him our lives are meaningless. To my batchmates, let us move forward with God, no turning back! “ Many of this batch of grade 10 completers have been with CCS since early elementary. Another highlight of the program was a “batch prophecy” (the scene of CCS’ 40th founding anniversary). Written by a group of completers and read by Niño Villanueva, Ms. Yvette Masangkay said it “lifted everyone's spirit as it showed the possibility of great success.” In visualizing alumni coming together for the school’s 40th year anniversary, the “prophesy” creatively showed their batchmates in their profession of interest. TOMORROW TODAY What was impressive and encouraging in the story was that the students “successfully found their realm of influence,” as the reader expressed it. The focus was not about them becoming successful for their own sake but for the sake of others, influencing their world, giving back to CCS and thanking God for proving Himself as their great provider. Coming back to the current day (April 2019), Mr. Villanueva challenged his classmates: “Now I am standing here in front of you. Think about it, we dreamt of this day. This was our big dream 10 years ago and now it is happening. My dear batchmates, let us remember when God is on our side, BIG DREAMS do come true.” Much effort was required to bring all these students to this point in their lives. To get where we are today, our students, our parents, our teachers, our administration, our board members and our Kids International Ministries family have expended much heart and energy. You, our donors, have sacrificed and prayed for us, without which we could not have come this far. You are important in accomplishing these students’ future dreams and influences as well. Thank you for being a light of God’s love and for helping our students be a light to the world.