On Friday, March 27, the Cushing community gathered to welcome guest speaker Caroline Nguyen Ticarro-Parker, the founder of Catalyst Foundation, a humanitarian organization dedicated to building communities – and hope – in Vietnam to fight human trafficking.
Born in Vietnam, Mrs. Ticarro-Parker fled with her family in 1975 to escape the war. On April 29, exactly 23 years to the day after leaving her home country, she returned to adopt her twin daughters. It was then that she realized she wanted to leave a legacy and to do more. “I began looking at the world around me,” she said. “I learned about the sex trafficking of young Vietnamese children and I realized the lack of human rights that exist for children. I knew I had to do something so in 1999 Catalyst Foundation formed.”
Using a holistic approach, Catalyst Foundation helps poor Vietnamese communities with necessities such as food, water, medical care, housing, and sanitation; as well as education and vocational training. In these ways, the organization aims to strengthen communities’ support mechanisms, which will one day break the cycle of poverty and offer hope for better lives. “These people never had a voice or someone to say, ‘You can do better because you deserve better.’ No one has told them that before.”
Mrs. Ticarro-Parker encouraged Cushing students to think beyond themselves and ways in which they can now, or one day, be a catalyst for someone or something. “Give more and you’ll have more. You can help anywhere – you just need a little hope.”
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Cushing Academy exists for students and develops curious, creative, and confident learners and leaders. Founded in 1865, Cushing is a co-ed, college preparatory boarding and day school for students in grades 9-12 and PG. Our students, who come from over 30 states and 30 countries, excel in our outstanding academic, art, and athletic offerings. We welcome you to visit our community and beautiful 162-acre campus in Ashburnham, Mass., just one hour from Boston, to experience all that Cushing has to offer.