Amigos de Jesus boasts a number of spirited, independent girls, who, despite the fact that they are still firmly planted in the oftentimes drama-filled, school-aged stage of childhood, each have the capacity to become potential leaders. Feisty, quick-witted, and quite the performer, our Francisca* definitely is a member of this go-getting group of girls.  

     Francisca loves to direct, and she often takes charge of situations, especially when someone is in need of help. Last fall, Hannah from the BECA program came for one of her monthly visits to the Amigos bilingual school. She had cut her foot on a rock and was bleeding; however, she was in a hurry to get to a meeting on time and so hadn’t noticed her injury.  Francisca and Pedro*, who always run to greet Hannah when she comes, did notice. “Miss! You are bleeding!” they exclaimed. Hannah tried to reassure them that she was fine and would attend to her foot later. “No!” Francisca was surprisingly firm. “You need medicine and a band-aid. Come inside!” Hannah acquiesced and followed Francisca inside her dorm, where she and Pedro promptly cleaned and bandaged the wound. Nine-year-olds can be quite persuasive—just ask Hannah!

     Amigos receives quite a lot of visitors in the course of a year, especially from the United States. Francisca also takes charge when it comes to welcoming these guests. She is good at getting to know them and maintaining relationships with them, even after they have returned to the U.S. While they are here, she loves to show them around the hogar, pointing out special places and describing daily routines, and after they’ve left, she sends them drawings and even occasionally talks on the phone with them. Francisca’s take charge attitude makes her an effective ambassador for Amigos de Jesus.

     In addition to her budding leadership skills, Fransisca is also a prolific artist and an enthusiastic dancer. Alan, one of our padrino coordinators, has an entire wall in his office plastered with Fernanda’s artwork, much of it signed, “I love you, Alan—Fransisca.” During parties when the dancing is in full swing and Francisca has taken the floor, Alan—who unlike Francisca is not known for his love of dancing (or his ability in this area)—can often be overheard remarking, “That’s my daughter. She gets it from me. Can’t you tell?” During La Festival de la Cancion (The Festival of Song) last July, Madrina Amy witnessed Francisca dancing on the stage. Francisca was so full of joy while performing that Amy could not help being overcome with joy as well. 

     Francisca is definitely a firecracker—she can spark a whole range of emotions among the denizens of Amigos de Jesus, from laughing delight to utter exasperation. She is still growing and developing, but the way she blossoms during a performance, or how she just knows what needs to be done in certain situations, or the way she welcomes new people…I think we can look forward to great things from Francisca. 

~ Genevieve Volpe, 2015-16 volunteer

*name changed to protect privacy

Francisca in her new clothes on Christmas

Francisca (right) and a friend at the Christmas celebration last year