Last Saturday, a group of alumni from the Franklin Delano Roosevelt school in Lima, Peru, gathered to celebrate their classic Alumni Luncheon, a camaraderie-filled lunch full of laughter, anecdotes, and memories, in which SIMALCO participated as an official sponsor.
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The event, organized by the FDR Alumni Association, was an opportunity to bring together former classmates who had not seen each other in many years, especially after the pandemic. Some of the attendees traveled from their places of residence to see the friends with whom they shared school years, and the excitement could be felt in the air. Upon arriving at the school, the alumni hugged and greeted each other warmly, catching up on the stories of their lives. It is estimated that around 500 alumni from more than 50 classes participated.
While it may seem like school is a distant memory, it’s often surprising to see how many people we knew in our youth have gone on to achieve great success in their careers. The journey can take many forms, and everyone’s path is unique. Some people may have found their calling early on in life, while others may have taken longer to find their way. Regardless of time, it’s always inspiring to see how far people have come. One example is Natalia Ramírez, Class of 1982, who works at the International Monetary Fund, in the US, or Sandra Sears, Class of 1990, who works at the World Bank in Perú.
A lot of alumni decided to start their own business with great success. One example is Diego Herrera, class of 1991, who cofounded MCK Hospitality Group, owner of Osaka, a leading premium restaurant in the region. He’s not the only one: brothers Carlos and Renzo Alcantara, from Class of 1990 and Class of 1996, own TCI, a leading technology company based in Lima.
Art is also a big part of Roosevelt. No wonder there are many alumni who have pursued a career in the area, such as Mery Thorndike and Melissa Arrospide, both from class of 98. From the same year, Roger Loayza is a renowned fashion designer and influencer based in LIma.
There is also a good number of students who loved the school so much, they returned to work there. Ruthie Romero, Class of 1999, Alexandra Guabloche and Pierina Constantini, Class of 2007, are great examples of FDR spirit.
One of the most emotional moments of the afternoon was when Superintendent Kerry Jacobson toured the new spaces on the Camacho campus with a group of alumni.
“I’m impressed every year with the large turnout of alumni from all over the world. This year, this was even more surprising as the difficulties with the pandemic are just waning and the travel warnings to Peru are still fresh. What a remarkable blessing this gathering is!”, said Jacobson.
At lunch a buffet of typical Peruvian food delighted everyone, especially those who were returning to the country after many years away. There was also a DJ who played music from the last few decades, and to close the party, a “hora loca” full of color.
“I think that the students who attend Roosevelt grow to understand (and really appreciate) that they are growing up in a very unique community. That international, diverse community forms bonds in ways that aren’t the same as our family bonds or our traditional community ties. Roosevelt’s uniqueness is also undergirded by a genuine commitment to each other’s success. This trait encourages great accomplishment among the graduates and strengthens the ties between each other. Wherever alumni go, they think of the formative aspects of Colegio Roosevelt and consider it ‘home’”, Jacobson said.
Maintaining a friendship with our schoolmates can be a challenging task at times, especially as our lives become filled with other commitments and responsibilities. However, having childhood friends can also be a source of inspiration and motivation in our careers and in life in general. Alumni gatherings are a wonderful opportunity to reconnect and rekindle those friendships, helping us to keep them strong even after many years.