The Varelas: SHC Family of 10

Rafael Varela and his wife, Lilia, have sent each of their eight children to SHC. Their love for SHC grows with each child, a testament to the school’s important role in the development of each of the Varela students. Mr. Varela shares with us his experience as an SHC family of 10.

How many members of your family have attended or are currently attending SHC? All eight of our children have attended SHC, six alumni and two current students.

Edgar A. Varela ’06, Oscar I. Varela ’07, Sofia M. Varela ’09, Veronica M. Varela ’11, Ana I. Varela ’12, Daniel E. Varela ’14, Eva M. Varela ’2016, Sara A. Varela ’18

What is it about the SHC community that inspires you to send your children here? It would be nearly impossible to pinpoint just one reason we’ve grown to love the SHC community! We were initially looking for a Catholic school that would encourage our children to grow in their faith while also receiving a top-rate education in a diverse environment. We found all of that and more from the moment our first child became a student. We are happy to report that the entire experience has been more than we could have asked for.

In fact, SHC has been more like an extended family, and has enabled my children to develop friendships and establish values that will last them a lifetime! We always hear our kids talk about how SHC has strong community spirit, how everyone gets along and how the teachers and counselors sincerely care about the kids. I know SHC has been a core component in the future success of each of my children, and that’s why I can confidently say how proud we are to have been a part it for so many years!

How has having a large family brought you joy as a parent? They say with each new child, you learn just how much further your heart can expand, and our family is no exception. Our family has been the single biggest blessing to me and my wife. Despite the challenges that arrive with each addition, the Lord has shown us that the good always outweighs the bad. We’ve always had enough, and many times more than what we could have ever asked for. While we’ve had enough food for the table, and just enough money to send our children to the best private schools, we’ve also been blessed with an overabundance of joy and happiness, and a sense of family unity that is stronger than I could have ever imagined.

Although we now have three college students attending USF, my wife still rises every morning to pack a lunch for everyone, and taxi them wherever they need to go. At the end of the day, we always enjoy the family dinners when everybody talks about their experiences of the day or reflect on past anecdotes, we laugh, we share, we enjoy each other. We treasure these dinners that gives our family the opportunity to come together and be one. My wife and I often sit back at the end of the day and reflect about the path each of our children is taking, and just how proud we are of our little family of 10.

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