An observer might think this was just an ordinary late Wednesday afternoon in June at Waterfront Park in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY. That same observer might think that the men, women and children gathered there were just an ordinary group of friends picnicking by the bank of our Hudson River. That observer would soon discover, however, that this was no ordinary gathering, no ordinary day and surely no ordinary group of people. This day was special because once again, our ESL tutors, students and families gathered as colleagues and friends to celebrate our success as a Cabrinian family.
The entire afternoon was filled with a cacophony of sights, sounds and tastes. My ears heard the voices of Spanish speaking dads and Chinese speaking moms. My eyes saw the smiles on the faces of Irish and African American tutors; Peruvian and Guatemalan students. In a flash, Ana’s plate of sweet Dominican flan and Michelle’s bowl of spicy Chinese chicken disappeared. Jenny’s Colombian rice and red kidney bean salad was devoured in an instant. And for dessert, good old-fashioned American chocolate cake with white butter cream icing was enjoyed by all.
Still, in the midst of all this chatting and eating we took a moment to pause and applaud Cabrini’s successful students. Among them were Michelle and Cesar who recently took the oath to become citizens of the United States. Ana who graduated from Westchester Community College with an Associate Degree in Business and Jenny who received straight As in her psychology courses at Mercy College.
At Cabrini Immigrant Services, we are thankful for many things, but most of all for the fine relationships, which have developed through the years. It is our belief that fostering and sustaining these relationships is the key to success.