June 2013 Newsletter

“The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.”
– William James

On Tuesday, May 21, 2013 almost two hundred students, parents, staff, supporters, and volunteers gathered for Firewall’s annual Graduation Ceremony. This year’s ceremony featured four centers marking a momentous occasion in Firewall’s history. But it doesn’t stop there as the Firewall Family expects to start at least two more centers in the Fall!

The ceremony began with an upbeat and celebratory tone. Beach balls were tossed around the crowd as music videos played in the background. There were also shout-outs for each center, break-dancing on stage, and even a bubble machine! Executive Director, Andy Fernandez gave a visionary speech congratulating students for finishing strong and inspiring them to continue pursuing success throughout their lives. Fernandez shared, “We all have the potential to be great, and we want to see every student that walks through our doors be successful.”


At the event, we congratulated Brandon Esposito, Evelyn Torres, Abner Molina, and Krystal Hernandez on their great accomplishment of graduating from Western High School!

Brandon has been in the Firewall program since the 6th grade. We have been able to watch him grow up into a responsible and hard-working young man. He will be starting Broward College this summer.
Evelyn has attended Firewall since her 7th grade year. Through the ups and downs, we have seen Evelyn blossom and wish her the very best as she starts college in the Fall! We saw her sister Mandy, who was also a Firewall student, graduate from Western two years ago.
Abner has been around the Firewall family since middle school, but officially joined the program as a junior. He has made outstanding improvement, even dual enrolling at Broward College. This has allowed him to take 6 college classes in his senior year of high school. Abner has achieved a 4.0 GPA thus far, and we know that he will be very successful one day as he continues his college education and beyond.
Krystal has been in the Firewall program since her freshman year of high school. Krystal has been through a lot of hardships, but she has managed to be strong and push through with excellent grades. She too will be starting Broward College in the summer. Congratulations, Krystal!

Other highlights included: Volunteer, Intern, and Servant Leader Recognitions. One of our interns, Sara Midence, expressed her heart Tuesday evening: “Here at Firewall, we have grown on each other as a family. Many of us even count Firewall as a second home.” Also presented were Certificates of Achievement and a slide show reminiscing of the past year’s hard work, accomplishment, and fun. Afterwards, families were able to purchase yearbooks, take pictures, and eat cookies!

We want to send a big thank you to all our supporters. This has been an amazing year full of growth and excitement. We could not have done it without the prayers, support, and devotion of you. Thanks to you, students’ lives have been forever changed. You have invested your time and energy into our future. You have spent your life on something that will surely outlast it. And Firewall will never be the same… So thank you!