In the Dominican Republic, Yolanda Aybar Delgado loved running with her brother through the main road of her village, Cucarita, high up in the mountains.
Then Yolanda was granted the opportunity to study in the United States as part of the Mission Office program with the Diocese of Orlando. She joined Melbourne Central Catholic High School’s track team and her grades started taking off too.
“Yolanda is such a special young woman,” said Sister Bernie Mackay, who heads up the Diocese’s Mission Office. “Yolanda entered pre-school at four years as a lethargic, poorly nourished kid demonstrating little academic excellence and no energy for success. However, she has out-smarted the pundits and today is a highly motivated honor student — as well as an outstanding long jumper. I am so proud of her.”
FACTS CEO, Tim Tewes, is being honored with the Seton Gala President’s Award from the National Catholic Educational Association this year, and is allowed to choose one student to receive a corresponding Seton Scholarship. Yolanda was chosen on behalf of her exceptional achievements.
“I never thought of me being chosen for something as important as this Seton Award, but it is an honor to have been chosen,” said Yolanda. “Thank you for this special recognition.”
Yolanda has also won several athletic awards and hopes to someday run track in the Olympics and represent her home country.
The Diocese of Orlando and the Diocese of San Juan de la Maguana in the Dominican Republic have had a mutually beneficial relationship since 1983. The Diocese of Orlando provides opportunities in the Dominican Republic for education, health care, clean water, and training for community members as first responders. A dozen children are also brought to the United States to attend Diocese of Orlando high schools.
According to the Diocese of Orlando’s website, “The Mission Office strives not only to empower the people of our sister diocese, and improve their lives, but also to educate and encourage the members of the Diocese of Orlando to use their time, talent, and treasure to reach out to those in need.”
For more information on how you can help, check out the Mission Office’s website.
Thank you to the Diocese of Orlando’s Henry Fortier, Secretary of Education and Superintendent of Schools, and Sister Bernie Mackay, Director of The Mission Office, for sharing photos and Yolanda’s story with our team.