Lupita Leon never imagined she’d become a teacher, nor that she’d teach in front of the desks she once sat in.
She teaches at Annunciation School in Denver, where she attended for eight years with the help of a scholarship from Seeds of Hope. Now she passes on the values and faith instilled in her to the students she instructs today.
“It’s great to come full circle and know that we’re all working together,” Lupita said. “The students are taking in a lot of values that will help them in the future—the same ones I was taught when I was there.”
Lupita’s own parents valued Catholic education although other obligations didn’t allow them to pursue it. Both of her parents came from Mexico to the United States. Her father needed to work in the fields after fifth grade because his family was poor. Her mother wished she could complete high school but needed to care for her ailing parents.
“They couldn’t afford the full tuition for me and my brother, so they applied to Seeds of Hope,” she said.
Lupita said Annunciation taught her the important of hard work and gratitude for other’s sacrifice.
“You learn the value of a community and working together to help each other,” she said. “Also the wisdom about to whom much is given, much is expected. I’ve kept that with me all these years.”
She went on to St. Mary’s Academy and later graduated—the first in her family—from the University of Denver with a degree in international business. After volunteering at an event at Annunciation School, Lupita talked to a teacher who encouraged her apply. She returned to school to obtain her teacher license and was accepted.
“I really do consider Annunciation a home,” she said. “It’s part of my family. I think sometimes when donors or visitor come, I really want them to see the impact on students who were just like me.”
Seeds of Hope helped pave the way for a quality education and made Lupita grateful.
“I think the help really changes lives,” she shared. “It creates a positive impact. I think giving to Seeds of Hope to help places like Annunciation helps create students that have those values like humility and giving back. And it helps to pay it forward like it did for me.”
Lupita’s take on service
Q: How do you strive to give back?
A: I have that connection with families at Annunciation School and can relate to what they’re going through. There’s still many Spanish speaking families, and I’m able to relate my experience and show them their kids can accomplish really great things. The school is there to help them just like the school helped my parents in the process. I’m also able to translate the curriculum and important things they need to learn so they can get a grasp of important academic content.