If there is one success story to this year's VPK class at Children of the World Preschool (CWP), hands down, it is the story of Precious Murithi. Precious graduated from VPK class 2018 full of confidence, smart, a reader and very ready for kindergarten at their chosen school - the Lutheran Church of the Cross School, or LCC Day School, in St. Petersburg.
It was not an easy feat for the family of Precious getting to the United States of America. Her father, Mr. Benjamin Murithi, married a lady, Ruth, from his village in Kenya and had Precious thereafter. Benjamin, being a US citizen, was ready to take his wife and daughter to the US. Unfortunately, while at the airport in Kenya, Ruth was not allowed to leave due to immigration problems. It was a heartbreaking moment - they had to decide whether to leave Precious in Kenya or take her to the US without her mother. As deemed the better decision at that time, Benjamin took Precious with him leaving his wife to wait for some documents that the Immigration Office required. They thought it would only be days, but the waiting time and documents needed dragged on for over a year before a US Visa was finally issued to Ruth.
Meanwhile, a First United Methodist Missionary and very good friend of Benjamin’s, Mrs. Caroline Feaster (who is also a staunch supporter of CWP), registered and enrolled Precious at CWP. Knowing their situation, Ms. Alicia Gomez, Center Director at that time, gladly accepted Precious at CWP.
During her mother's absence for over a year, Precious braved the situation she was in with the love and support of Benjamin who acted both as mom and dad while working as a nurse at the same time. On the other side of the globe, Ruth said she was consumed with grief, anxiety, mixed emotions and frustrations, waiting for the day when they would be reunited and be together again. It was finally in November of 2016 when Ruth’s US Visa came and she readily packed her bags to be with her family forever. She is now enrolled in a Nursing Course through grants and scholarships.
Precious has shown resilience and strength of character during the lonely days without her mom, and through the years that followed remained steadfast in her positive attitude towards the learning process, showed diligence and perseverance, and thereby graduated from VPK with flying colors - one of the highlights and milestones in her young life.
This story is shared with us by Beth Ferguson, VPK Teacher at CWP. If you would like to know more about Children of the World Preschool or one of our other Centers for Early Learning or would like to volunteer, please contact Kellie Cleland, Director Early Learning Programs at kcleland@UMCMSuncoast.org.
Help us help other kids like Precious get the educational foundation they need. Donate today. There are also opportunities to sponsor a child or a whole classroom; contact Cecelia Messina, Donor Engagement Mgr., at cmessina@ UMCMSuncoast.org to learn more.