Each child who attends Cristo Rey Boston (CRB) High School has their own unique story and journey and it is our mission to help each student succeed, often against tremendous challenges in their personal lives. Each day we are uplifted by the students who attend CRB and amazed by their resilience and grace.
Ralph Lambert is one such student. While celebrating his 9th birthday in Haiti, the massive earthquake of 2010 struck, destroying his home and sending him, his mother and his grandmother into the streets. He would remain there, living in a local park, for two months until arrangements could be made to move him to Boston to live with relatives.
Speaking with Ralph, it is evident that this was a transformative moment in his life and one that drives his focus and spirituality. “I saw tremendous suffering in Haiti, a very harsh reality at a young age.” What helps him process that experience is a religion teacher at CRB, Mr. Rolando Lopez, who has his students examine sacred scriptures. “Although I am not Catholic, learning scripture has enabled me to more deeply understand my own religion and reaffirms my own faith. Mr. Lopez has taught us that people who go through suffering have a glimpse of the Kingdom of God, and I agree. When I think of Haiti, I remember to be thankful that God kept us alive and I felt that I saw God in the kindness people exhibited to one other in the face of tremendous adversity. There was sharing of food when others were hungry and a unified pulling together to simply help one another.”
Ralph credits the small inclusive community of Cristo Rey Boston as benefitting him in numerous ways. He has grown socially, developing and broadening his life views and building strong peer and adult relationships. There has been growth in his faith which solidified his core tenets and values that guide his day-to-day behavior. Through his work study position at Santander Bank, he has had a glimpse into the adult world of work, acquiring valuable job experience and an appreciation for hard work. Furthermore, he is thankful for the opportunity to learn at a small, private Catholic school that has not placed a financial burden on his family, but has also well-prepared him to attend college.
A giant fan of mathematics and physics, Ralph sees a future as a structural engineer designing buildings. He loves the “light bulb” aspect of mathematics, where you solve a problem, as he states, “by approaching problems from lots of different angles until you find a solution.” He has just started investigating college campuses and curriculums and is excited by the prospect of meeting new challenges.
Ralph has experienced a lot of adversity in his young life; however, he has chosen to honor the people who couldn’t leave Haiti by excelling in school, living a life of faith and taking the steps necessary for future success. Ralph has chosen to take the second chance he was given on that fateful day in Haiti and live a life of purpose.