A young woman who came to the United States from Puerto Rico when she was only 9 years old is Mansfield Senior High School’s McGowan Courage Award recipient from the Mansfield Rotary Club.
Katiuscka Del Valle Rodriguez, who will graduate this month, was nominated by counselor Kayla Loughry.
Loughry wrote that Kati arrived in New York City with her parents, two siblings, an uncle, a cousin and a friend. The family made their way to Cleveland. “Kati experienced strong feelings of uncertainty and anxiety from being in a new country,” Loughry wrote in her nomination. “Some of her worries came from … financial difficulties and general unfamiliarity of a new country, which had become her new home. Kati and her family did not know the English language, besides basic words such as ‘hello’ and ‘thank you.’”
Kati attended Luiz Munos Marin Middle School in Cleveland, a dual language academy, where teachers helped her to learn English. She transferred to Mansfield Senior High from her high school in Cleveland during her junior year.
“Once again, she had to adjust to a new school and a new city,” Loughry wrote. “She has made the most out of this move. She chose to challenge herself by enrolling in our two-year health technologies Career Tech program. Both years she has managed a full, rigorous schedule. Kati hopes to study nursing in college.”
The summer’s devastating hurricane in Puerto Rico has made it difficult for Kati to communicate with family still there. She is concerned about the difficulties they face in overcoming massive destruction. “Kati has experienced several personal obstacles in her life and has demonstrated resilience every time,” Loughry said. “With her courage, I am confident that Kati will continue to overcome any obstacles and reach her goals.”
Above, Katiuscka (Kati) Del Valle Rodriguez is flanked by her parents, Tanya Rodriguez and Jesus Del Valle Rodriguez, during this week’s McGowan Courage Award luncheon at the Mansfield Rotary Club. At right is Mansfield Senior High counselor Kayla Loughry.
Source, Photo: Mansfield City Schools