You cannot imagine the joy and pride that overwhelms me when you graduated with honors from the University of California-Berkeley with a major in Public Health and a minor in Global Poverty and Practice. I still cannot believe that my “baby,” the one who was so alert already when she was born, is now a college graduate and is ready to conquer the world and fulfill her dreams.
I have learned a lot from you too, Nikki. You have always been soft-spoken but driven, serious and yet funny, a good leader and a great student, ambitious and yet caring, focused and yet loving. I melt every time your teachers tell me how much they will truly miss you in their classes. Probably unknown to you, in your gentle and caring ways, you touch people with your warmth, your knowledge, your intelligence and your sincere concern for the oppressed, the underprivileged, the poor, the neglected and especially for the downtrodden women of the Philippines.
For three summer months last year, you visited some of these women. You felt their pain. You shed their tears. You reached out to them through Likhaan. I am so proud of you, not only because you are an excellent student, a great leader and a very good daughter. I am proud of you because you are a true citizen of the world and most especially, a child of God. I love you Nikki!
(Photo courtesy of Janet R. Nepales )
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