St Leo's Parishioner Wins Scholarship

Parishioner Pascasia Irakoze, daughter of Maria Karenzo and Joseph Misagaro and an 8th grader at St. Boniface school won an inspirational scholarship to Mother of Mercy High School for the following speech. We are most proud of her and her achievement.


There are many things in life that inspire me. The most significant one of all is my parents. My mother and father have been married for thirty years. In those thirty years they’ve had eight children including myself. They’ve migrated from Africa to America. In 2011 when my sister was diagnosed with cancer and lost her life, my mother started to go to school to keep her mind off of the death of my sister. About three years later my mother applied to take the U.S Citizenship Test and passed. A couple of years later my parents bought a house. They bought this house with only my father working while my mother was still going to school and taking care of the younger kids.

My parents accomplished all this when neither of them had a full education. My father quit school in the sixth grade when both of his parents were killed. My mother quit school in her second year of college. They wanted the best for us. They wanted us to live a better life than they did. Even though they ended up alright life doesn’t go the way you plan it. When someone asks me what I want to be when I grow up I say a pediatrician but I also say that I want to be like my parents. Not that they didn’t get enough education, but because they accomplished so much without it. My parents I believe had courage and determination and most of all faith. They know and I know that they did not accomplish what they did alone, because God was there every step of the way. When you do something and you do it with faith and courage it will happen maybe not exactly the way you planned it but it will happen.

Another person that inspires me is a very well-known person and his name is Michael Jackson. This man still inspires. Even though he died his music still lives on. After Michael Jackson was diagnosed with Vitiligo people made fun of him and called him names. He ignored all the mean things that people said about him and continued on with his dream of creating music. Michael Jackson once said “My goal in life is to give to the world what I was lucky to receive the ecstasy of divine union through my music and my dance.” Michael Jackson wanted to spread his love and creation of music and dance to the world and I think that, that was very well accomplished. Michael Jackson’s words really reached people including myself. One of my favorite quotes from him says “if you enter this world knowing you are loved and you leave this world knowing the same then everything that happens in between can be dealt with.” What these words mean to me is that, if you are loved by anyone , it could be one person and when you die and that one person still talks or thinks about you then whatever is next after you die you can handle it , you can deal with it no matter what . You can ask those you love and those who love you.

My message here today is to recognize the people who are in my life and those who were in my life that I admire so much.