In March of 2022 Holy Cross Education Foundation (HCEF) welcomed its first Belizean board member, Isolene Bailey, a 2010 graduate of Holy Cross Anglican School. Isolene describes her experience with Holy Cross as “unique” and life-altering.
Isolene’s family moved to San Pedro and she transferred to Holy Cross as a Standard V student. Relocating from everything that she knew, at that age, to a new environment, culture and norms was not easy. However, Isolene found herself in a place, Holy Cross, where the teachers cared a lot about their students.
As a Holy Cross student Isolene met a volunteer from North Carolina, Deacon Jan Lamb, who is a HCEF board member and has served as both mentor and sponsor to Isolene. The two have become like family over the years. As Jan and Isolene were beginning their relationship - she was a Standard VI student then – Jan wanted to know about Isolene’s goals and plans before she agreed to be her sponsor. Isolene told Jan that she was going to change the world. Jan reflects, “I have watched this happen, and I believe she is well on her way, one small bit at a time.”
“Miss Jan is a light in my life and I continue to learn so much from her.”
“We would go to school with things in our lives that no one knows about.
But at Holy Cross the love and caring of the teachers made learning easy. If it wasn’t for Holy Cross, I would be a completely different person.”
“Everything that I have accomplished so far, I credit to education. Holy Cross opened that door.”
And, Isolene has accomplished a lot! An honor graduate of San Pedro High School and San Pedro Junior College, Isolene went on to attain her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management (Cum Laude) from the University of Belize in 2019. In addition to her academic success, Isolene is an accomplished athlete, earning awards in basketball, football and volleyball. She has held positions at the US Embassy in Belmopan, Belize and has worked remotely the past three years for the US company, Where We Help.
It was Deacon Jan who introduced Isolene to the Holy Cross Education Foundation board members. An invitation to join soon followed. When asked to become a member of the board Isolene was excited to have the opportunity to give back.
She feels that it is important to maintain a grasp on the culture of Holy Cross. As a board member she hopes to help provide and sustain the loving learning environment at Holy Cross that she credits with molding her future. This is especially important to Isolene as she has a nephew in preschool at Holy Cross and a niece in Standard IV who aspires to be just like her aunt!
Isolene shares, “I went from a little girl, wanting to change the world with no idea on what exactly to do. I took a leap of faith and trusted that God knows exactly what he’s doing. At the midst of the discovery, I lost my grandmother and it was not easy, but I refused to lose my mind. I trusted, I went through high school as an exemplary and patriotic student. I joined all sports except softball, volunteered with the Leo’s club (Lion’s Club for young adults) and studied very hard. With faith, my determination and the help of a wonderful woman, Miss Jan, I was able to acquire my wings.”
“Though I am not yet the woman I aspire to be, I look at the woman that I’ve become. She’s learned the importance of hard work and dedication. She is molded by perseverance, commitment and determination. She is equipped with intellectual knowledge and the experience to cope, battle and achieve.”
— Isolene Bailey, Holy Cross Graduate and HCEF Board Member