Parent column: Elona Singroy


Elona Singroy knew she’d miss her parents, as well as morning visits from neighbors peddling fresh fruit and fish. Nonetheless, she craved opportunity. So, in 1990, she moved from South America’s Guyana coastline to the heart of south Minneapolis.

Her husband and their two young daughters, Annmarie and Brittany, immigrated with her. Annmarie started kindergarten at a Minneapolis public school, but Singroy said that ultimately, it wasn’t what she desired for her children.

“I wanted to find a new school for Annmarie and a new church, too,” Singroy said. The family had been attending a Lutheran parish, but Singroy was nostalgic for the Catholic faith that formed her life. Determined steps led her to Holy Name Catholic Church and school in Minneapolis.

She toured the premises, now called Risen Christ Catholic School, and was impressed, asking the principal, “What can I do with [limited money]?” With tuition assistance and an agreement to volunteer, Annmarie was enrolled.

That was more than 20 years ago, and the family now boasts seven children. Although their family situation has changed — Singroy and her husband divorced in 2007 — all the children were able to attend Risen Christ through the eighth grade, followed by DeLaSalle High School in Minneapolis, where some of them are currently enrolled. The income from Singroy’s nursing assistant job, coupled with financial aid, made it possible.

To Singroy, the sacrifice is worth it.

“Catholic schools have the same standards as my parenting philosophy: discipline, faith and structure,” she said.

Singroy’s oldest four children graduated from college, earning degrees in either science or criminal justice. Brittany is working on a double master’s degree. The youngest three siblings are also engaged students. During the last school year, Susanlyn, 13, was selected for a public service announcement encouraging presidential candidates to debate science issues.

Singroy’s heart swells because her children have gained knowledge and become successful. She’s thankful for the education her children received and appreciates the financial assistance. She continues to give back by volunteering and speaking at events to promote Catholic schools.

“I’m grateful to the teachers and staff at Risen Christ and DeLaSalle. They helped shape my kids,” she said.

Singroy appreciates that Catholic education is faith-based because religion sets a foundation for the future. She firmly believes parents should do whatever it takes to enroll their children in Catholic schools.

“If I can do it, others can, too!” she said.

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