Serve Well Blog

Entries tagged 'Destiny Williams'

2.12.12

Trise Moore | Krista Foundation GCA- Urban United States

Destiny Williams, The Krista Foundation | Colleague Press, Krista Foundation Press, Urban America, Community, Education, Integrating Service As A Way Of Life, Poverty: Urban US & International, Sustaining Service

Trise Moore Krista Foundation GCA Urban U.S.The Krista Foundation for Global Citizenship announces the selection of Trise Moore to be honored with a Global Citizen Award for embodying a life of service leadership in the area of Urban United States.

Moore leads the increasingly diverse Federal Way School District's community partnership initiatives to improve student achievement. Implementing innovative strengths-based approaches, Moore navigates intercultural and adaptive challenges, dismantling barriers and empowering parents to become effective partners in student academic success. Moore, who became Family and Community Partnership Advocate for the Federal Way School District in 2003, previously received national honors as chair of the City of Federal Way's Diversity Commission.

"The Krista Foundation is delighted to honor Trise Moore for her service-centered leadership in the diverse urban context of Federal Way," says Krista Foundation Executive Director Valerie Norwood. "Service that transforms communities is not a one-way path of giver to receiver. It must be mutually transformative. Trise leverages the insights of parents and other key stakeholders, together creating a model of family engagement that is gaining national recognition and making a positive ripple effect in Federal Way and beyond."

Moore is one of three mid-career professionals from the Puget Sound region to be honored by the Krista Foundation for exemplifying the qualities of Global Citizenship: service leadership that creates community and sustainable futures for people and the environment.

The 2012 Krista Foundation Global Citizen Award recipients will be formally announced and honored at a public event on Sunday, March 4th, 7:00 pm in the Campion Ballroom at Seattle University. The three honorees demonstrate the event theme: "The Ripple Effect: Service changes you. Service changes the world." Tickets for the event are available by contacting The Krista Foundation for Global Citizenship at 206-382-7888 or nissana@kristafoundation.org. This is an RSVP-only event.

Global Citizen Award recipients are selected for demonstrating the Krista Foundation values: intercultural competence, adaptive leadership, young adult empowerment, respect for spiritual values, global-local connection, and service as a way of life. The other 2012 Global Citizen Award recipients to be honored are:
Sharon London, Strategic Initiatives Director, EarthCorps (Environment)
Joseph Whinney, Founder & CEO, Theo Chocolate (Developing World)

About the Krista Foundation for Global Citizenship: Founded in 1999, The Krista Foundation honors the life and vision of Krista Hunt Ausland who died at age 25 while volunteering with her husband in rural Bolivia. Through mentoring, a colleague community and re-integration services, the Krista Foundation helps young adults fully understand and employ the learnings from their service experience. A service year, when nurtured, becomes a life of service leadership. The Krista Foundation provides ongoing program connections for more than 200 Krista Colleagues and offers program development resources and services, including The Global Citizen journal, for local universities and volunteer service organizations.

Link to KF Ripple Effect Event Page

Link to KF Ripple Effect Facebook Page

Krista Colleague endorsement for Trise Moore by Carmetrus Parker

As a former AmeriCorps volunteer and Krista Colleague, I am so happy to see that Trise Moore is being honored with the Krista Foundation's 2012 Global Citizen Award in the area of Urban United States. I value the tremendous work Trise Moore is doing in Federal Way as a Family Partnership Advocate and I applaud Federal Way School District for taking steps in engaging parents.

As an AmeriCorps volunteer in the urban setting of Tacoma's Hilltop neighborhood, I provided in class assistance to students and coordinated an after school program focused on literacy development in early readers. The after school program was housed at Trinity Presbyterian Church and the primary focus was of the program was on students reading below grade level. It became apparent to me that my students needed more than just an after school reading program and I soon found myself in the uncomfortable position of being an advocate.

I did not understand what being an education advocate meant. I was confronted by frustrated parents that truly wanted the best for their child. Some parents felt they were not getting their concern heard, let alone addressed. Others didn't see school as a safe place and turned to the "girl at the church" as a confidante. Many more respected the program and viewed the church as a place of integrity. Whatever the reason, parents came to me. I soon began having conversations with teachers and principals that ended in uncomfortable eye and leg shifting.

I began to ask hard questions. It seemed the more questions I asked, the fewer answers I received. I began to research and seek answers independently. I discovered resources that I never knew existed! As a parent, I soon realized how ill equipped I had been to advocate for my own children. I was not only ill equipped, but ill informed. I began sharing information on student and parent rights and responsibilities. I requested information and brochures from the Education Ombudsman. I referred parents to advocacy trainings and encouraged them to contact their assigned school director when a situation could not be resolved at the school level.

In AmeriCorps, my primary function was to serve when and where I was needed most. I never imagined that I would become an advocate for families, yet I am proud and honored for being called into this role. I recognize that there was a deficit within the system and a need that was not being fulfilled.

It is obvious that Trise Moore has a heart for families and a true desire to serve her community through her role as Family and Community Partnership Advocate. Her vision for family engagement resonated with me because it shifts from blaming parents to empowering them. I have often felt that I was not a partner in my children's education. Trise Moore is committed to ensuring that all parents have an opportunity to KC Carmetrus Parkerparticipate and, ultimately, become partners in educating their children. In a society focused on individual achievement it is refreshing to see a collective approach to ensuring success for all. Focusing on family engagement in our schools is an approach that is often not a priority in public education. The benefits are countless, as issues of the ever-widening achievement gap can be more readily addressed, and increased parental involvement is an invaluable resource to students and teachers alike.

Hats off to Trise Moore and her colleagues in Federal Way for prioritizing and focusing on family engagement, and recognizing the ripple effect it has on student achievement.

Carmetrus Parker is a 2009 Krista Colleague, Program Coordinator at Tacoma Urban League, and Director of Community Relations and TAP at Trinity Presbyterian Church.

8.16.11

Is it better to be global or local?

Destiny Williams | Krista Foundation Press, Developing Nations, Environmental Projects, Urban America, Community, Integrating Service As A Way Of Life

 I used to think that being "globally minded" was the important thing. I would stress the need to open ourselves to other people and cultures, and discover our interconnectedness. I would encourage accepting our responsibility to care for and advocate for our brothers and sisters around the world.

I still believe global awareness, appreciation, and respect are important, yet over the past few years I've come to discover the importance of local. I mean, to be global without being local is to have your head in the clouds without your feet on the ground. In a pragmatic way, you can only be as global as you are local—doing real things with real people in real places while understanding their global implications. Becoming locally involved also provides insights on the elements of any healthy community around the world. (To clarify-- I don't see those insights or elements as a blueprint to be replicated exactly. Contextual and cultural difference should be honored in each community.)

In the spirit of the KF's August 20th event: Think Globally, Move Locally, I want to hear what your neighborhood celebrates and values: What are the unique local things that your neighborhood is known for? What are sources of pride for your neighborhood or city?

To get the conversation started, I'll speak to our Seattle KF Office in Greenlake...
A food or two? On a warm summer afternoon, our staff has indulged at Gelatiamo, the gelato shop around the corner. Beyond Greenlake, trekking to nearby Fremont to sample Theo chocolate at their factory is a worthy quarterly outing. : )
A geographic marker/hike/adventure? Greenlake itself-known for speedwalking moms with strollers, fancy Frisbee spinners in the park, and some of the most competitive outdoor basketball in the city. It's a place of meeting/play, and a nice 3 mile stroll. We had a wonderful picnic a week ago with Colleagues.

Something else? A type of music/band or instrument? / Something of historic significance?/ Something with cult-worthy appeal?

Whether your neighborhood is Brooklyn, Boulder, or Bombay... what aspects of local life are you loving? What are your neighbors most proud of?

To read one Krista Colleague's thoughtful consideration of being local while in global service, read Nathan Brouwer's article from The Global Citizen.

8.12.11

Poor Timing to Cut Funding for AmeriCorps/Volunteerism

Destiny Williams | Service In The News, Urban America, Integrating Service As A Way Of Life, Preparing To Serve, Sustaining Service

Jenny Yu, AmeriCorps, TacomaAaron Ausland recently noted the surprising inverse relationship between unemployment and volunteering-that as unemployment rises, volunteerism rates go down. He stated that the number of volunteers in America dropped by 600,000 from last year, bringing the national volunteering rate down by a half a percentage point, to 26.3%. While it could seem logical to assume unemployed people have more spare time and would more likely fill that time with volunteering, the opposite appears true.

Overall, we were surprised to see the downward overall trend in volunteering (broadly defined). It makes me ask: which primary demographic is volunteering less? In our work with year long service volunteer programs, millenials seem to be bucking this trend. We're still hearing from service organizations that record numbers of young adults are applying to serve (JVC-Northwest, for example, had a 50% increase in applicants).

Unfortunately, Congress recently took the wind out of these sails, which threatens the quantity and quality of service volunteerism. Congress made drastic cuts to AmeriCorps ($22.5 million in cuts to AmeriCorps Education Awards). Catholic Volunteer Network, which has 1300 AmeriCorps- funded volunteers at 900 sites, is facing a $5 million gap from the cuts. See article on CVN. In spite of debt and budget challenges, prioritizing funding for young adult service volunteerism has critical economic and social implications.

In a report on unemployment I heard on NPR last week, young adults 25 and under have an unemployment rate near 17%. Reihan Salam, a policy advisor at e21 (an economics think-tank) was saying how much this statistic particularly hurts the economy in the long run. Getting a good job early, to build skills and move up into better paying jobs, ultimately builds a stronger economy and leads to more revenue into the tax system. Instead, many young adults are being stalled out of the starting gate, or starting in the "loser's bracket," and our economy will never fully catch up. Cutting AmeriCorps funding kicks this younger generation when it's already down, when it should be offering an essential way to build marketable skills while promoting civic engagement and fostering commitment to the common good-not to mention meeting real needs in our struggling communities.

Under-funding AmeriCorps is one sure way to speed the decline of current volunteering and depress future numbers. Squeezing service volunteer organizations threatens not only the quantity of volunteers, but also the ability of organizations to provide quality service volunteer care (including proper training and debriefing).

At a 50th anniversary event for the Peace Corps, I heard National Director Aaron S. Williams say that, more than ANY other program we have, Peace Corps volunteers (and I would say AmeriCorps volunteers too) represent our highest ideals and values as a nation.

We are in a challenging economic climate that disproportionately affects opportunities for young adults. Whether motivated by economics, idealism, or common sense, shouldn't we be investing in young adult service programs, rather than cutting them?

4.29.11

Kirk Harris pursues Political Science Ph.D.

Destiny Williams | Colleague Press, Developing Nations, Faith/Theological Exploration, Global Citizenship, Integrating Service As A Way Of Life, Peace & Reconciliation, Transitions Home & Beyond

 

In a small office on the campus of Indiana University, Kirk Harris stares out a small window. This is where he spends most of his time these days. He finds his life, starting a Ph.D. in Political Science, feels quiet--a "night and day" difference from the sounds and smells of the past five years. In 2006 Kirk sat at a table surrounded by the passionate voices of tribal and community leaders who shared stories of hardship and betrayal amidst a violent ethnic and religious conflict. Despite deep differences, they were gathered on common ground, to nurture peace and rebuild their countries. Kirk, a Krista Colleague who served in Kenya as a Young Adult Volunteer with the Presbyterian Church, served with an organization that facilitated Muslim-Christian dialogue between these competing ethnic and religious groups. He remembers and cherishes the friendship and solidarity of "being welcomed by people who are very different from me, of being drawn outside of myself in pursuit of a common calling."

At that time, he wrote to the KF: "By participating in these discussions I am now able to analyze violence and peace more comprehensively, taking into account country-specific obstacles to the resolution of conflicts as well as cultural and theological nuances that affect how they unfold." But the depth of complexity left him longing for an even deeper understanding.

To hone his thinking, Kirk wrote an article on reconciliation in The Global Citizen journal. He seized an opportunity at the Mennonite Central Committee United Nations Liaison Office in New York, focusing on Congo and Sudan. After two years, Kirk moved to Khartoum to work for the Sudan Council of Churches in on behalf of MCC. In each position, Kirk was humbled by the issues the communities were facing. In his search of a better framework, Kirk applied to a Ph.D. program.

Graduate school has brought new opportunities and challenges for Kirk, whose goal is to reinvest his degree in service of the people he served in Africa. "I am continually reminded of what I was doing a year ago-working with Sudanese churches who are trying to heal their country in the wake of conflict and stave off new violence." As he seeks to integrate his experiences, cultivate community, and steward his education, Kirk has come to see that "balancing the tension of the mind and heart will take time, and that God's grace, which has sustained me through service, will also sustain me in learning." He reminds himself: "Only 5 and ¼ years to go."

Know someone who has wrestled with the culture shock of transitioning from service to grad school? Share comments or encouragements below.

11.18.10

Teach for America Coming to Puget Sound

Destiny Williams | Service In The News, Urban America, Education, Global Citizenship, Poverty: Urban US & International, Preparing To Serve, Sustaining Service

From cities to towns across the country, the national educational system is struggling, and people are trying different approaches to fix it. Of the growing numbers of college graduates looking to "give back" through meaningful service, some choose to serve in education, either as teachers or in after-school programs.  Teach for America (TFA), founded 20 years ago to address the achievement gap, is one program which places college graduates into paid teaching positions in struggling classrooms. TFA is in the middle of a major national expansion effort that has reached Puget Sound (Seattle & Federal Way).

A Seattle Times Article: "Teach for America seeks foothold in Seattle area" (Nov. 3, 2010) includes background and some opinions from various constituencies impacted by this shift.

A goal of the Krista Foundation is to encourage healthy dialogue and work toward best practices in the broad field of service volunteerism. Whether technically "volunteer" (unpaid/stipended) or vocational (paid), intercultural service should be done with care for the volunteer, and with care for the community where service is done. We appreciate the way TFA's model can be a platform to discuss best practices for service and vocational work by young adults who want to make a difference.

Quick summary of arguments:
Critics note:

  • TFA gives participants only 6 weeks of training before placing them into difficult classrooms.
  • TFA teachers flood a market where even certified teachers aren't getting hired, and then, after the 2-year stint, 2/3 move on, increasing staff turnover.
  • Former TFA teachers tend to have mixed feelings about the program, and site higher rates of burnout and disillusionment. (see NY Times Amanda Fairbanks, and "Teach for Awhile" Seattle Times 11.16.10, or)

Supporters note:

  • TFA teachers make up for not having a teaching credential by bringing vitality and innovation to help turn classrooms around, and site that students of TFA teachers perform as well as those with certified teachers.
  • TFA teachers take classes toward a certification, improving their skills as they work. TFA is one of several non-traditional programs for teacher certification.
  • Some teachers later move into leadership roles in schools and school districts, impacting educational policy.

 

Read the article for more.

Also consider reading Taking Care: The Quest for an Ethical and Mutual Approach to Service, an article by the Krista Foundation's Executive Director, Valerie Norwood.

Are you connected to or passionate about this issue? We welcome and value your experience and reflections. Please post your (moderated) comments below.

11.3.10

Global Citizenship: U.S. Halts Visas for Some Int'l Adoptions

Destiny Williams | Service In The News, Developing Nations, Global Citizenship, Integrating Service As A Way Of Life, Poverty: Urban US & International

serve well blogWhether on a short-term immersion, or long-term service experience, many of us have held children in an orphanage. It is hard not to be moved to try to help improve their lives in some way. Discerning a call to global citizenship, some have gone on to work in international adoption or have chosen to become parents who adopt internationally.

The Seattle Times recently featured the story of Jenni Lund, the now-legal mother of two-year-old Pukar. They wait in Nepal alongside other parents and children, as US visa regulations won't allow her to bring Pukar to her home to central Washington without clear proof that he had been abandoned. Such documentation is virtually non-existent there. Meanwhile proof exists that some orphanage directors, who benefit from getting children adopted, have threatened local parents to forfeit their children.

Stopping visas puts pressure on Nepal to improve documentation in hopes of reducing the influence of child trafficking. In the meantime, children remain in orphanages, and the prospective parents, many of whom are deeply invested (financially and emotionally), are left with dim prospects. 

Read Nancy Bartley's Nov. 1 article Nepali adoptions investigated; U.S. parents agonize.

Do you have a connection or experience related to orphanages or international adoption? Please share your thoughts and comments below...

serve well blog

10.26.10

GCJ v5 Photo Contest

Destiny Williams | Krista Foundation Press, Arts & Culture, Global Citizenship

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Photo Contest WinnerThe Krista Foundation is thrilled to announce the completion of Volume 5 of The Global Citizen: A Journal for Young Adults Engaging the World through Service.

This is our 10-Year Celebration Edition: a compilation of new and 'best-of' articles, combined with curricular questions for individual and small group/class reflection.
Staff, Colleagues, and Foundation Friends invested many hours producing this journal, and we truly believe it's worth reading and sharing!

With the Journal's Release, we want to thank ALL of you who submitted images for the
COVER ART PHOTO CONTEST... and most importantly unveil the WINNERS!

PLEASE CLICK HERE to view the winning photos & description/explanations.

The themes included: Joy Dance, US Urban Beauty, Global Beauty, Bridge Crossing. 
Congratulations Joe, Brandon, Chris, and Abdul!

Click to view the winners!

10.24.10

A Different Kind of Intercultural Dialogue

Destiny Williams | Service In The News, Developing Nations, Community, Intercultural Development, Community, Peace & Reconciliation

Teresa Rake - Krista ColleagueTeresa Rake ('05) has developed a lifetime of insight on the beauty and tensions of intercultural communication as the biracial daughter of a Bolivian mother and Caucasian American father. After graduating from Biola University, she moved into an intentional community in Seattle's richly diverse White Center neighborhood and discovered a church dedicated to serving the neighborhood. Then she volunteered for a year in Brazil through the Mennonite Central Committee, training families to address urgent needs related to water resources. Now back in Seattle, she continues her relationships in White Center as an elder in the local church and invests in the lives of their high school youth group.

In White Center, Teresa noticed that the kids, having grown up among varied minority and immigrant communities, engaged in honest conversatoins about race and shared experiences without usually offending each other. In contrast, she recently worked for an organization in a less diverse part of town and found that, despite the best of intentions, there were clear, awkward communication gaps resulting in stereotypes and misperceptions of the population that the organization desired to serve. She wondered: "How do we create space to talk about race and acknowledge our privilege without getting defensive?" Amid her growing desire to understand these gaps, Teresa participated in a Krista Foundation sponsored facilitator training for an intercultural communication tool called Photo Language, which helps participants both listen to others and share about their own experience of tender subjects such as race and privilege.

Read more about Teresa on her bio page.

10.17.10

A Different Kind of Businessman

Destiny Williams | Colleague Press, Urban America, Business, Community, Business, Community, Integrating Service As A Way Of Life

Wakefield Gregg - Krista ColleagueTen years ago, Wakefield Gregg (‘99) became a Charter Class Krista Colleague while serving in Tacoma's Hilltop neighborhood with youth involved in or on the fringes of local gangs.  Wake used Krista Foundation grant money to bring youth to Mississippi to meet the Reverend John Perkins, whose urban development principles of relocation, reconciliation, and redistribution proved life-shaping.

Fast forward ten years, when Wake visited China with George Fox University's MBA program.  He couldn't help but notice the 26.1 million electric bikes sold there in 2007 humming down the road. Returning to Portland, home to the highest percentage of bike commuters in the nation, Wake was inspired to start ‘e-bikes' from his own garage.  He points out the economic and environmental benefits of traveling 15-50 miles on 5 cents of electricity and the fun of 350 watts (equal to 60% of Lance Armstrong's maximum output) powering your bike.  But his vision for this business doesn't stop there.

As soon as the business is "capital positive" Wake's stores will train at-risk or previously incarcerated youth as e-bike mechanics.  "Perkins's principle of redistribution means giving these kids access to the means of production," says Wake.  "I was also inspired by Father Greg Boyle at the Krista Conference three years ago-seeing how his job programs really change the lives of former LA gang members. But this type of thing has been a long-standing passion of mine."  Your investment in Wake's leadership ten years ago helped shape what has become a solid commitment to the "business" of offering hope and opportunity for urban youth.

Click here to read Wakefield's full bio.

10.10.10

A Different Kind of Ecologist

Destiny Williams | Colleague Press, Environmental Projects, Environment, Global Citizenship

Alicia Ward - Krista ColleagueAlicia, a 2006 graduate of Seattle University, served as a coordinator with the Osa Sea Turtle Conservation Program. She instructed volunteers from all over the world, speaking to tourists, working with the local population, and going out on all-night beach patrols to observe the sea turtles laying eggs and monitor nests. The work with turtles addresses the plight of an endangered animal and connects with larger ecological issues of environmental degradation and the effects of human presence. Alicia not only found hope in the baby turtles, but also in the groups of volunteers from all over the world. Despite different languages and national and political persuasions, groups bonded over the hard work, listened to one another, and found that they have much in common.

With her KF Grant, Alicia attended the International Sea Turtle Symposium in February 2007. The symposium experience, along with completing a spotted-owl survey for the National Parks Service at Mount Rainier, preceded and strengthened her application to the Peace Corps Master's International Program. In the fall of 2008, Alicia began her master's studies, specializing in International Conservation and Development, with a focus on wildlife.

Click here to read more about Alicia.