Kerine Thomas, Grade 4
Sacred Heart School in Jersey City, NJ
Kerine is a fourth grade student at Sacred Heart School in Jersey City where 80% of the student population lives below the poverty level. She came to Sacred Heart in second grade after suffering through a series of very difficult events when she was just 6 years old.
Kerine remembers the day when several people came to her house to speak with her mother. The next day the same people came back and removed Kerine and her sister and brought them to a shelter where, as she describes it, there were lots of bunk beds. It was all terrifying. After a few days, her Grandmother came to get Kerine and her sister and brought them to her house.
Grandma took charge, and the first thing she did was to go to Sacred Heart to see if she could afford to enroll Kerine. She felt that her grand-daughter was going to need special nurturing. The tuition did present a problem; however, The Scholarship Fund for Inner-City Children was the solution. Between Grandma and Sacred Heart, Kerine’s life began to turn around and an extra blessing followed. Since Kerine was now in a Catholic school, her grandmother also began to bring her to Christ the King Church, a Catholic mission church not too far from Sacred Heart School. Kerine made her First Communion and continues as a parishioner at Christ the King.
Kerine has blossomed into a happy fourth grader who is on the Principal’s roll, the highest level of the Sacred Heart School honor roll. She sees her mother sometimes on weekends, and other times she sees her Dad. Recently her world was shaken once again when Grandma had a heart attack. Fortunately, as of this writing, Grandma is on the mend. Kerine is smiling again and her grandmother never fails to tell the Principal, Sr. Frances, how grateful she is to Sacred Heart and the Scholarship Fund for Inner-City Children.