Our goals: College, Heaven - Brownsville Herald: Opinion

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Our goals: College, Heaven

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Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 9:53 pm

While Catholic schools across the country celebrate national Catholic Schools week, a unique school community located in a tiny blue building tucked behind the shadow of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Brownsville is making big plans, too. The students of Guadalupe Regional Middle School are keeping their focus on two goals: College and Heaven.

This credo is a living, breathing statement on GRMS’ campus. As you walk upon GRMS’ simple open-air campus, you won’t just see students in white or blue uniform shirts sitting on benches or at a picnic table talking about the events of the day, or the 75-plus food baskets that are sent home each week with the students to help ensure that they and their families have a meal each evening. You would immediately notice that lining the corridors and adorning each of the classrooms are white signs with blue lettering stating, “Our Goals: College & Heaven.”

As we are fresh off an extremely successful 10th anniversary year, the front end of that bargain is holding up well, with 100 percent of GRMS alumni having graduated high school on time and being accepted to colleges and universities around the state and country. Just as the crucifixes in every room of the school remind students to be holy in all that they do, there are alumni college acceptance letters blanketing a wall in the hallway to serve as a reminder for students to strive for excellence in all their endeavors, big or small. And although GRMS cannot guarantee entry into Heaven, it does provide students a formidable faith foundation rooted in the gospel values of love, justice, self-discipline and respect for others.

While students and families have a vast array of reputable educational options in the city of Brownsville and the greater Rio Grande Valley, GRMS is the only school in the entire state of Texas that offers a tuition-free Catholic education serving middle-school students from economically disadvantaged families. Without funding from Austin or student tuition to rely on, GRMS would not exist without the unwavering resolve and support from its benefactors.

GRMS is most grateful to Bishop Emeritus Raymundo Peña and the school’s founding sponsoring congregations, The Marist Brothers of the Schools, The Congregation of Christian Brothers and The Sisters of the Incarnate Word & Blessed Sacrament for having the vision and foresight to open such a unique and transformational school. GRMS will also be forever indebted to all those in the Brownsville community whose gifts have sustained and strengthened the mission of GRMS for so long, particularly those in the Tilma Leadership Circle, including the Society of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

On behalf of the entire GRMS community, I want to thank all of those who have been part of our school’s wonderful journey. Your investment is creating access and opportunities, while transforming the lives of GRMS students and offering a prosperous future for them, their families and the greater Brownsville community.

Michael Motyl is president of Guadalupe Regional Middle School. To learn more about GRMS, visit guadalupe.schoolfusion.us or call (956) 504-5568.

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