Rhomberg Joins the Mount Vernon High School Family

Rotator, Spotlight — By on February 6, 2018 12:58 pm

Nelson Rhomberg and Jayden Meeker

By Lauren McCollum

It took over four years to unite a family from Mount Vernon with brothers from Haiti. The Rhombergs began the adoption process in 2013, and now this year one of their sons, Nelson, joined the Mount Vernon High School family.

“The adoption process was a little over four years long, so as the time for Nelson and Jackson to come home was getting closer, I was very nervous,” said junior Annie Rhomberg, “I was worried about how they would react to our family and I didn’t know how the community would respond to them. It was a scary feeling knowing that my family was going to forever change. Of course I was excited and anxious as well.”

Moving from Haiti to small town Mount Vernon one and a half years ago has changed Nelson Rhomberg in many ways. As a freshman, Rhomberg has already made a lot of great memories he will carry with him for the rest of his life.

“My favorite part of moving to Mount Vernon is definitely being able to go to school, because in Haiti we did not get that opportunity,” said Nelson. He loves getting to meet new people and expand his vocabulary in the English language every day.  

My favorite aspect of his personality is by far his humor. He is very sarcastic and never fails to make anyone in our family laugh. I also admire his work ethic. He works harder than anyone I know and he always strives to be the best he can be,” said junior Annie Rhomberg.

“His learning has been a complete exponential growth pattern, just blossoming every day he walks into the classroom,” said math teacher Mary Young, “He has already been understanding more language-wise than even three months ago, and I am so very impressed with his positive attitude!”

Rhomberg loves the Mount Vernon community, but will sometimes get stressed trying to adjust to all the new aspects of his life now. This stress never stops him from trying his hardest to overcome all these changes.

Coming from Haiti, Rhomberg has continually struggled to be around pets, specifically dogs, which were much more aggressive where he grew up. He explained that he is trying to adjust now since a lot more people are around and own them in Iowa.

“It’s really cool to hear about his experiences from Haiti, and he fit in so well with our friends right away,” said freshman Jayden Meeker.

Rhomberg loves spending time with his family, though it has been one of the biggest changes he has experienced apart from learning a whole new language. One of his favorite activities to do with his family is going to the movie theater.

Rhomberg loves the people in Mount Vernon, but he does miss his family a lot and the activities he used to do with his friends. One fun activity he misses is climbing trees to pick mangoes, which he did almost every day with his friends.

Sports have been a big part of Rhomberg’s life ever since he moved here. As Rhomberg attended more athletic events, his want and need to try all of them grew quickly. He really enjoys sports, and plans on continuing to practice to get better as time moves forward. In the fall, he played football, and is now on the basketball team.

Qualities of Nelson that I admire are, his compassion for others, his desire to improve, and his devotion to family and faith,” said associate Bill Thomsen.

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