St. Thomas Aquinas Eighth Grader, Faith, Becomes U.S. Citizen

Faith, as she’s fondly called by her family and friends, recently became a U.S Citizen on February 14, 2018, by virtue of the Immigration and Naturalization Act! Valentine’s Day this year was made much more meaningful to her family; after all, love was the essence that started it all.
Hermione Faith Basilio was born on March 07, 2003 in the island Province of Bohol, Philippines to parents Noel Basilio and Veronica Remolador, both Filipino nationals. Her journey began when her mother, a Registered Nurse by profession, immigrated here legally in 2005 to work in St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center- Phoenix. It was hard for the three of them since it was Faith’s formative years, but she had to be left in the care of her extended family in the Philippines while her mom established a life here in the US. Occurring before the age of social media, long distance calls were the only way to stay connected and her mom’s telephone bill skyrocketed the first month of being apart! The distance was difficult to endure, but Faith was blessed to be surrounded by her loving family. Being the first- born granddaughter and niece she was everybody’s apple of the eye.

After ten months of being apart and legal documents had been submitted and processed to the USCIS, she was approved to come and live with her parents. On Feb.8, 2006 they were finally reunited and were able to live as a complete family. It was not at all a bed of roses for Faith, who at that time was just turning three years old. She missed her extended family so much that she’ll wake up in the middle of the night crying and looked for them. It was heartbreaking for her mom, but she continued to shower her with love, patience, and understanding because she knew that better days were yet to come. They often went to children’s parties together to expose Faith to other kids and have fun. The support of friends that they’ve gained played a great role in Faith’s transformation to be a happy kid and was such a positive influence on others that she is now. Her love of music helped to transformed her energy into a positive vibe.

Faith stays very active in school activities. She’s a member of her volleyball team since fifth grade, a, Service Club, Yearbook Club and Religious Coordinator for Student Council.

Faith has been a consistent honor student and is known for her exuberant joy and positivity. She was recently the recipient of the highest honor that her school can bestow to a deserving student, THE ST. THOMAS AWARD.

Q. How did you celebrate your citizenship this Valentine’s Day?

A. Right after the ceremony, my family and I ate at a Chinese restaurant.

Q. What about becoming a U.S. Citizen makes you proud?

A. The freedom and opportunities this country has makes me very proud to be officially a part of it.

Q. Can you tell us about your duties as a school’s religious coordinator?

A. My duty as the school’s religious coordinator for student council, is to help lead an assembly or make an announcement regarding prayer.

Q. What is the St. Thomas Award?

A. The St. Thomas Aquinas Award is an award given to an exemplary student who displays acts of kindness, stewardship, responsibility, and leadership.

Q. Who do you look up to the most?

A. The person that I look up to the most is my mother because she worked very hard to get me to where I am today and the only way that I can repay her for that is through my love and determination to do great things.

Q. What are your plans for the future?

A. So far, all I plan on doing in the future is to focus on high school since I am an incoming freshman for St. John Paul II Catholic High School and to hopefully get into a great university!

Faith Basilio is an eighth grader at St. Thomas Aquinas.

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