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Rose Manning - Class of 2020

Rose Manning graduated from CCA in 2020 and is studying medicine at La Universidad Interamericana de Panama (UIP).

One of her most recent accomplishments was having the opportunity to go on a “mission’s trip to Egypt as part of a medical team tending to Sudanese refugees.”

Even though she learned many different things at CCA, “one of the most important things was to be empathetic, to care for and to love others. It sounds cliche, but we constantly had new students from different parts of the world, and since we were kids, teachers encouraged us to not only accept these new kids, but to love them and put ourselves in their position.”

Rose’s teachers encouraged her to think about how she would feel and how she would like to be treated if she were in the other person’s shoes. She said that this lesson was useful when she left the CCA “bubble” and began college because she had to “re-learn how to make friends, especially ones that had a very different background from me.”

“CCA prepared my heart,” Rose said. This school was such a “loving enviroment where I constantly felt cared for and emotionally supported” which has been useful for her when she has had to “overcome hardships that have come along the way after graduating.”

Fernando Valenzuela - Class of 2011

Fernando Valenzuela graduated in 2011 after ten years at CCA. Fernando went on to attend the University of the Ozarks in the U.S. and earned degrees in Marketing, Management, and Music (voice). He moved back to Panama to work as an analyst in the Revenue Programs with Copa Airlines before moving to the East Coast to pursue his master’s degree.

Fernando loved the small class sizes at CCA, saying that the teachers cared for “the educational and emotional health of the students.”  He also added that CCA is “a place that brings hope for the kids” and said that the “1 on 1 time with the teachers to really learn the concepts” is one thing that is hard to find at other schools.

He also believes that CCA prepared him well for college. He said that “the teachers helped educate on academic organization” and that the “essays, grammar, math, and homework discipline were taught at a level that prepared me for college.” Additionally, CCA helped him find scholarships given his particular financial situation.

Fernando said that his time at CCA “taught me that not many have grown up in the same background as me.” Because of that, he realized that “the world is not a Christian bubble of happiness, but rather one that depends on Christ for strength and endurance/perseverance.”  

Fernando appreciated how the teachers “listened first before commanding/executing whatever they had in their schedule,” and that they knew it was important for the students to feel cared for and listened to which helped students “open up and reach the world for Christ.”

When asked about his favorite teacher he said that he didn’t have just one favorite, but that his favorite things about teachers were that they “engaged the students and were always happy to help.”  Additionally, he said that teachers “took time out of their schedules to help in the extra-curricular activities,” as well as helping out at Crossfire at CBC.  Fernando clarified that “it wasn't so much doing as much as it was just being available to help in time of need.”

Fernando’s advice to students who are considering attending CCA is “to be prepared to be challenged, not only academically, but also for your purpose in life. Yes, they will find Christian principles (since it is a private school), but it'll help shape how you see the world around you.”  He added, “ prepared to play EVERY sport that the school offers (after all, it is a small school).”