NOHHF Scholar Deborah Alvarenga is Valedictorian at Cabrini High School

The following article was published in the Fall 2016 issue of Cabrini High School’s  news magazine Crescent and is reproduced here with permission of the school.

Good evening, and welcome Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Board of Trustees, Mr. Hanemann, Mrs. Hrapmann, administration, faculty, staff, family, friends, and my fellow sisters of the class of 2016.

I cannot believe that five years ago I was a pre-freshman at Cabrini. Time flies by so fast and now here we are, the Hearts of the Class of 2016, graduating. As this chapter of our lives comes to an end another chapter is just beginning. We have our whole futures ahead of us. But what does the future hold? Nothing because it has no hands. As punny as that may be it is certainly not true because our futures are in God’s hands. He has something unique planned for each one of us as He says in Jeremiah 29:11 “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”

During my time at Cabrini I have learned many important lessons and here are just a few of the many lessons: remember your locker combinations, help the least of these, how to set up cones, run the right way to avoid injury, memorize key math formulas, Olmec big heads, free stuff is the best stuff, follow God’s calling and be a messenger of God’s love to the world, viva el español, how to put up chairs as high as they can go and as low as they can go, important Supreme Court cases, how to make bean dip, the importance of memorizing your class schedule, and how to be a jack of all trades. Cabrini has helped me grow and become the person I am today. I have created friendships that will last a lifetime and have come to know some of the most amazing people in the world.

I would like to share with you one of the most important things I have learned throughout my years at Cabrini.

What is a Cabrini Crescent? When I was thirteen years old I walked through the halls of Cabrini High School for the first time thinking that a Cabrini Crescent was a girl who attended a private Catholic all-girls institution founded by Mother Cabrini where mediocrity is not an option. A Cabrini Crescent was a girl just starting high school, learning the ropes, and a part of 101 Dalmatians.

What is a Cabrini Crescent? When I was fourteen years old I walked through the halls of Cabrini High School for a second year thinking that a Cabrini Crescent was a girl on a fast track, gaining more sisters, and becoming more comfortable in high school. A Cabrini Crescent was a girl sizzling like bacon, learning CPR, and for some of us, taking her first elective course.

What is a Cabrini Crescent? When I was fifteen years old I walked through the halls of Cabrini High School for a third year thinking that a Cabrini Crescent was a girl who challenged herself, took AP courses, and dealt with a lot of stress and tears. A Cabrini Crescent was a girl in the middle of her high school career, at the halfway mark, trying to finish the year strong.

What is a Cabrini Crescent? When I was sixteen years old I walked through the halls of Cabrini High School for a fourth year thinking that a Cabrini Crescent was a girl handling AP courses like a pro, learning Matthew 25, and going to prom. A Cabrini Crescent was a girl nearing the end of high school, stepping up and becoming a senior, and anticipating senior year.

What is a Cabrini Crescent? I am now seventeen years old and as I walked through the halls of Cabrini High School for the last time as a student I realized that I don’t really know the answer to that question. Maybe she is a doctor, musician, artist, physical therapist, missionary, or nurse. Who knows? Maybe she is an athlete, fashion designer, architect, engineer, FBI agent, or lobbyist. Maybe she is a film director, beautician, lawyer, politician, journalist, writer, or teacher.

And you know that if you ask me I’d say that she’s an impeccable, stellar, grand, and swell woman.

Cabrini High School is made up of walls of brick and mortar. But what’s really significant about this is that this represents the true identity of Cabrini High School. Our school draws its strength and foundation from each of the students who have been put together like bricks in a wall, held together by our bond in sisterhood and the experiences and memories we have from our time at Cabrini like mortar. To outsiders Cabrini looks like old buildings and just another school on the map. What they don’t know is the rich history of our school and that we, the students, are Cabrini High School. You can tear down these buildings, but you can never tear down the sisterhood we have. It is time for us to go out and follow our dreams and passions. Each of us is more than capable of changing the world in some way and using what we have learned at Cabrini to be the best we can be. I challenge each of you and myself to be a true Cabrini Crescent and hold on to our sisterhood because even when we are miles apart, we will still be sisters at heart.

I have to thank God and my family for helping me along my journey thus far to this point today. I would like to thank my grandparents for always praying for me and wishing me the best. Thank you to my cousins, aunts, and uncles for always encouraging me and giving me advice and help. To my sisters I want to say thank you for being my number one fans and always being there for me through thick and thin. And to my parents thank you for all of the sacrifices you have made for me and for letting me follow my dreams. I would also like to thank my Cabrini family for the stellar experience I’ve had at Cabrini and the grand memories that will stay with me forever.

What is a Cabrini Crescent? She’s a woman of substance, integrity, and honor. She’s a strong, independent, and intelligent woman. Now we are at the end of our time at Cabrini and the one thing I know for sure is that a Cabrini Crescent is whatever she wants to be. And most of all, she is my sister. Thank you and God bless.


Cabrini Senior Baccalaureate Mass and Commencement Exercises Class of 2016.5.21.16Photo: Tyler Kaufman/©2016

Cabrini Senior Baccalaureate Mass and Commencement Exercises Class of 2016.5.21.16Photo: Tyler Kaufman/©2016


Cristina Fowler will forever remain in our hearts. To make a donation to the foundation in her name, please click here.

2017 Scholars Ceremony

The New Orleans Hispanic Heritage Foundation honored its 2017 scholars from the finest public, private and parochial schools in the New Orleans area, awarding 53 scholarships and providing the environment for the scholars and their families to meet their heads of schools and school counselors, as well as the members of the Board of Directors of the NOHHF and many friends and sponsors of the Foundation. 34 graduating seniors and 19 underclassmen from 17 participating local high schools were recognized at the 2017 ceremony and reception which took place at the Henson Auditorium of Isidore Newman School, in New Orleans, on April 26th.

For more information, click here.

2018 Azúcar Ball

The 2018 Azúcar Ball promises to be a fantastic affair. Our most important fundraising event of the year will take place Saturday, December 1st, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans, 601 Loyola Avenue, starting with the Patron Party at 7:00PM and followed by a fun-filled Ball at 8:00PM. Great music, dancing, food from New Orleans’ finest restaurants, great silent auction, a unique raffle and much more. Mark your calendar!! Save-the-date cards are being sent out prior to the invitations.