Xiomara Menéndez With the HDN Class of 2014

This post is also available in: Spanish

The amazing Hogar del Niño education and daycare center and has now graduated it’s sixth high school class, a monumental feat for the charitable organization based in La Romana. The ceremony was celebrated at the Club de la Costa, which belongs to the Central Romana Corporation, the Hogar del Niño’s main beneficiary. “The Hogar del Niño’s School offers classes from first grade to twelfth, with highly proficient teachers and a team of professionals that includes psychologists and social workers, a modern computer lab, and a 20,000 volume library,” the foundation explains on hogardelniño.com. Aside from graduating 24 young men and women from the school, many of whom have been with the Hogar del Niño since they were babies in the “Sala de Cuna” (the crib room), the foundation also awarded five college scholarships to universities around the Dominican Republic. These scholarships were awarded to the graduating class’s best student and to four others who had performed extraordinarily. Did you know? Two graduates of the Hogar del Niñ0’s college scholarship program have returned to work at the Hogar del Niño, one as a dentist and the other as a teacher. And the Hogar del Niño currently has more than 20 students on scholarships at university right now. “This program is life changing for these students and their families and in the long term for the Dominican Republic,” said Phyllis Berney, a Casa de Campo villa owner in attendance at the ceremony who is a passionate supporter of the cause. In a recent interview, Xiomara Menéndez, president and founder of the Patronato Benefico Oriental, the organization that runs the Hogar del Niño, told Casa de Campo Living how over the years her main focus in running the organization has shifted into education as a way to produce real change for the future. Looking upon all these young men and women, receiving a level of education, of health, of living much, much higher than they would have received otherwise, and how the Hogar del Niño school has already graduated 147 young people already, we can’t help but agree!  Photography by Bryan de la Cruz.