On the occasion of the historic address by Pope Francis to a joint meeting of Congress, U.S. House of Representative’s Speaker John Boehner had as guests 10 students participating in Washington, D.C.’s Opportunity Scholarship Program. Mr. Boehner is one of the authors of the legislation creating the first in the nation federal private school voucher plan and he has been a passionate advocate for re-authorization of the legislation that provides scholarships to kids in the nation’s capital living in poverty.
Among those in the audience were Milady Carcamo, who is in the 4th grade of Sacred Heart School; Edgardo Gonzalez, a 5th grader at Sacred Heart; Jasmine Mayfield, who is in the 8th grade at St. Anthony School; Ne’Miya McNight who attends Francis Xavier School and is in the 7th grade; Samuel Merga, an 11th grader at Archbishop Carroll High School; Genesis Romero, currently in the 12th grade at Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School; Jaden Roundtree, attending St. Francis Xavier School who is also in the 7th grade; Nadia Souleymanou, in the 8th grade at St. Anthony School; Theotric White, who is in the 8th grade at Thomas More Catholic Academy; and Travis White, a 7th grader at St. Thomas More Catholic Academy.
Some of the comments from these students about their visit are simply amazing because of how perceptive they are for men and women of such a young age. Milady Carcamo wrote, “Pope Francis inspires me because he is good and brave and he cares for others.” Jasmine Mayfield stated, “I am excited for Pope Francis’ visit because there is a lot of negativity in the world, and I think his visit will bring more positivity.” Nadia Souleymanou captured a theme in her remarks that I heard often about this Pope. She reflected, “Pope Francis teaches us that no matter what your position in life always be humble and forgiving.”
With students such as these there is great hope for the future of our country.