Serve Well Blog

Entries tagged 'Transitions Home & Beyond'

11.24.15

It's Impossible to Do It Alone!

The Krista Foundation | Colleague Press, Community, Environment, Transitions Home & Beyond, Transitions Home & Beyond

Emily Bays' favorite scriptures are the Acts of the Apostles, "because they model how we can live in community and support each other."

Passionate about fostering thriving communities, Emily spent two years building bridges between the generation most directly affected by the Hanford nuclear production site and a young generation largely ignorant of the situation. "It was exciting to bring a voice of concern both for workers and environment to Hanford decision making," she says.

Less exciting was her volunteer living situation. "I knew that living communally wasn't going to be a cakewalk," she says, but the inherent messiness of shared living, few opportunities to process challenging in-service experiences, and finally a small house fire created "a different incarnation of community than we expected."

Luckily, Emily found vital support in the Krista Foundation. Last year’s Winter Debriefing and Discernment Retreat became critical in helping Emily process “a year so difficult that I was ready to get out.” The weekend “gave me tools to move forward with the experience, and use it in a productive way instead of having it be a big weight.”

Drawing on a Christian faith that is “completely integral to my view of the world,” Emily is planning her next move with the support of the Krista Foundation. “We (Krista Colleagues) are in all different places on our faith journey. By welcoming and nurturing us no matter where we are, we can live out our values of service and social justice.”

3.18.15

One Goal, Many Possible Paths

The Krista Foundation | Colleague Press, Integrating Service As A Way Of Life, Post-Service Term Reflections, Transitions Home & Beyond

2012 Krista Colleague Mike Davis spends his days equipping youth to use art to process trauma. Read how he's discerning his next step in growing his vision for service.

 

Mike DavisBecause music got Mike Davis ‘12 safely through a rough adolescence, he's passionate about helping young people to engage, create, and communicate through arts and performance.

While serving with Urban Impact in Seattle, he began to see how the arts could go deeper. Many of the middle schoolers he worked with didn't know how to process their pain in a constructive way. Using hip hop, Mike saw firsthand how students could "get stuff out of them and into a song or a spoken word piece." Releasing their feelings through art helped them process trauma.

As well, students found in Mike a mentor who understood where they came from and what they were dealing with at home. As he writes in "Where I am from"

 

I'm from...

Black mothers that take upon the roles of black fathers,

Fathers that were forced to forsake their own and encouraged not to bother,

Leaving my momma to teach me to tie my tie and fold down my collar,

I'm from...

How come YOU get to and I can't,

From songs I didn't like but was forced to dance,

From, if another cop looks at me that way I'ma...

From, never mind, I'll just avoid that drama.

 

One day, a girl who had shared her journal with Mike--including an entry that talked of suicide--came to see her counselor. Told that the counselor was out, she asked to meet with Mike instead. You can't, was the reply-Mike is not certified.

"She needed someone, but on paper I wasn't certified to talk with her," Mike remembers.

Stung by the response, Mike enrolled in Bellevue College. But the road to credentials in art therapy would be long. Aiming for a graduate degree would mean "pounding it out for the next 8 to 10 years, doing my prerequisites and transferring to university."

And unlike many students, Mike's full-time studies joined an already long list of responsibilities as a full-time worker, musician, and dad to his 5 year old son.

A year into his studies, Mike began to wonder if this was what God had in mind for him. After wrestling with this question during the January Debriefing and Discernment retreat, Mike is choosing to put school on hold for now.

"I know what art and music did for me as a teen, so I want to connect performing art and visual art to help kids process major or minor trauma," he says. "That's still my vision, but God is calling me to pick another route, and it's slowly making sense."

During his six years in Seattle, Mike has built relationships with many different community organizations. Connected to faith-based and secular nonprofits as well as the public education system, he is well positioned to use the arts to make a difference in the lives of young Seattle residents.

Now a drop-in coordinator for the Seattle Union Gospel Mission's Youth Reachout Center, Mike thinks that the route God has in mind for him might be less traditional. "It's like God is saying, really experience this road instead of the one you would naturally take. I feel like if I am obedient to what God is saying, all these pieces will fall in place."

 

 

3.18.15

Crossing Cultures in Theory and Practice

The Krista Foundation | Colleague Press, Integrating Service As A Way Of Life, Intercultural Development, Transitions Home & Beyond

As part of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, Claire Smith '12 served domestic violence survivors in Oregon and was an academic assistant at a school on the Crow reservation in Montana. During service, she had many opportunities to build her intercultural competence. The Intercultural Development Inventory helped frame her growth.

Claire SmithIs cheese a staple kitchen ingredient, or a bonus item?

What about nori?

Questions like these peppered the early days of 2012 KF Colleague Claire Smith's life in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Gresham, Oregon.

While all seven housemates seemed to share similar backgrounds at first glance, "many tensions surfaced based around our assumptions and worldviews," she says. "It would have ended up being a tense community with lots of fights if we hadn't all wanted to lean in and figure out the reasons behind our differences."

More opportunities to practice relationship amongst differences arose on the job with Proyecto UNICA/Catholic Charities, where Claire worked with Latina women affected by domestic and sexual violence. And still more practice was called for during in her second Jesuit Volunteer year, while serving as an academic assistant at the Pretty Eagle School on the Crow Indian reservation near Hardin, Montana.

"Throughout all of these experiences, I was lucky to be surrounded by people who were willing to dig in to relationship and speak openly about cultural norms and values, but there were a lot of growing edges, and since the end of service, the Intercultural Development Inventory has helped me frame it."

During her pre-service orientation with the Krista Foundation, Claire took the 50-item inventory for the first time. As the inventory assessed her intercultural competence, it showed a gap between her ideals and her experience.

"I had the right answers in my head," Claire says, "but not a lot of experience living them out. Having to make a home in groups of people from different backgrounds gave me lots of practice, which was reflected when I took the IDI for a second time during the Winter Debriefing and Discernment retreat." The growth in her IDI helped Claire recognize the growth in her cross-cultural fluency and gave her a way of framing her service experiences. "It really helps me look with a clearer lens at where I've been and how I've grown."

Claire hopes to use the IDI tools more consciously in the future. She appreicates the way that it breaks down a person's relationship with cultures, and she sees it as a potential for larger scale development as well. "I think that using it in any group setting or as a facilitation tool would provide some useful shared language around issues that are critical for community, but often difficult to talk about."

Follow Claire's journey across cultures in her "Where I am from" poem, written during the Debriefing and Discernment retreat.

3.18.15

Where I'm From

The Krista Foundation | Colleague Press, Developing Nations, Environmental Projects, Urban America, Post-Service Term Reflections, Transitions Home & Beyond

Before we can know where we are going, we need to recognize where we are from. At the Debriefing and Discernment Retreats, Krista Foundation Colleagues were invited to claim their roots and their present as they wrote poems prompted by the question, Where am I from?

Michael Davis, Justin Willis, Madie Padon, and Claire Smith share their responses here.

 

 Where I'm From
Mike Davis

I’m from…

The long lines of government assistance,

From the same line that formed my existence.

The lines that separated me from you,

The lines that labeled me as colored because you couldn’t accept my hue, truth.

I’m from…

Black mothers that take upon the roles of black fathers,

Fathers that were forced to forsake their own and encouraged not to bother,

Leaving my momma to teach me to tie my tie and fold down my collar,

I’m from…

How come YOU get to and I can’t,

From songs I didn’t like but was forced to dance,

From, if another cop looks at me that way I’ma…

From, never mind, I’ll just avoid that drama.

I’m from…

You’ll never go there, because where I’m from is nowhere,

Listen, I don’t think you understood me…

I’m from nowhere, no where you’re from

Or forsake the history from whence you come,

You wanna know where I’m from?

I come from long lines from which my history was hung

I come from the reminder of the history in which you shun.

Mike Davis

 

Formerly director of the Leadership and Mentoring Program for Urban Impact in Seattle, Mike Davis ‘12 is now a drop-in coordinator for the Union Gospel Mission's Youth Center.

 

 
Where I'm From
Madie Padon

I am from the beginning of the Nile with endless tilapia to dust filled roads where an oncoming truck meant you have to hold your breath for the next 2 minutes as it passed by.


I am from sneaky, shadow seeking geckos that I said goodnight to every night to the starch filled meals that seemed to have no taste.


I am from dancing in front of hundreds at a moments notice to carrying three unknown children in a 12 person van that somehow seated 15.


I am from riding side saddle on a motorbike for miles, praying to God that this won't be my last to calling random women Mama to show my utmost respect.


I am from red dust that would camouflage my feet to being one with the road to being touched and played with by random strangers, no matter how old.


I am from endless star ridden skies to beautiful blood red sunsets in a place that you've thought you had died.

Madie Padon

 

Madie Padon '12 taught biology and science at the Holy Cross Schools near Lake Victoria in Uganda.

 
 Where I'm From
Claire Smith 

I'm from the big leaf maple tree with the yellow slide and swing underneath,

From vegetable gardens and woodstoves,

Home cooking and families whose names are like legends in the Valley -- Zender, Strachila, Galbraith, Engholm.

I'm from 40 minute drives to "Town" to get groceries.


I'm from classical piano -- Mozart, Schubert --

From family outings to the city, to the theatre, to the aquarium,

From "Money can't buy you happiness, especially if you don't ever use it," and "Love is something if you give it away."


I'm from sit and stand in church.

Liturgies and Sunday School Songs,

Kyrie eleison and Vespers ‘86,

From Holden's Village Center ceiling and Railroad Creek footbridge.


I'm from the university.

From words like "juxtaposition" and "neocolonialism."
I'm from sestinas and short stories,

From "liminal spaces" and "intersectionality"

From walks around Spanaway Lake and late night runs to WinCo.

I'm from silent solidarity, staring at computer screens until our eyes blur and we have to dance around, singing in silly voices until we feel like humans again.


I'm from study away.

From papel picado, chicharrones, and tlayudas

From Día de los Muertos and drinking smoky, burning mezcal until I like it.

From being a güerra, güerra and a señorita.

I'm from misunderstandings and putting my foot in my mouth and talking around my meaning.


I'm from urban bike paths and taking the MAX.

From crisis lines and grupos de apoyo

From "1 in 3 women" and "You deserve to ALWAYS feel safe"

From trying to accompany, to create healing spaces

I'm from Big Sky and Big Horn Mountains

From pow wows and basketball tournaments

From "What kind of Indian are you?" and "Maaaaan, Teacher, you're mean!"

From trying to accompany, to create safe spaces


I'm from Ruined for Life

From tense grocery conversations and game nights

From dinner tables and cooking disasters

I'm from silent solidarity, trying to hold the woes of the world until our eyes blur and we have to dance around, singing in silly voices until we feel like humans again.

From strangers making a home together.

Claire Smith

 

As part of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, Claire Smith '12 served domestic violence survivors in Oregon and was an academic assistant at a school on the Crow reservation in Montana.

 
Where I'm From
Justin Willis 

I'm from my childhood. Rain, rain, and more rain. The Pacific Northwest at its finest. The Olympics, the X-games, Major League Baseball. I am going to be there one day. Moving from city to city, new friends, new plans. Diversity and public education shaping who I am.

I'm from college. Deepened faith and silent retreats. Still one of the most moving things I have done. Sit with your thoughts and see what happens. Science, so much science. But also social justice. Social justice and science. Best friends, lost friends. Confusion, questioning, anger, pain. Discernment. Choosing what ultimately brought me most joy.

I'm from JVC Northwest. Conversations about 2% milk. Is this even important? Solidarity, social justice, spirituality, community. Mac Attack. Guy, Dave, Courtney, Eddy, Ben, Stephanie, Irena, Jordan, Nic, Todd, Julia, and so many more. Never getting the balance right. Inadequacy, regret, and many mistakes. But ultimately so much joy.

I'm from life after service. Stress about the future. Tests, tests, and more tests, and probably more tests after that. Being welcomed home by my parents. Surviving through adversity and coming out better on the other side.


Justin Willis

 

Justin Willis '13 served in the Recuperative Care Program at the Old Town Clinic, working alongside Portland's homeless population.

 

1.28.15

What Guatemala Taught Me About South Seattle
by Krista Colleague Jerrell Davis '14

The Krista Foundation | Colleague Press, Developing Nations, Urban America, Community, Intercultural Development, Post-Service Term Reflections, Transitions Home & Beyond

 "Sometimes you make choices...sometimes the choices make you" is a saying that resonates with Krista Colleague Jerrell Davis, who was recently featured in the South Seattle Emerald. After a lifetime of making choices "that were rarely the most popular and usually not the easiest",  the Seattle Pacific University student chose to study abroad in Guatemala and return this winter to serve at a hospital for people with special needs. His service has changed the way he sees his community and himself.

Read how in the South Seattle Emerald.


 

1.27.15

Transition and More Transition

The Krista Foundation | Colleague Press, Developing Nations, Education, Law, Integrating Service As A Way Of Life, Post-Service Term Reflections, Transitions Home & Beyond

Brittany Harwell is passionate about justice.

She spent 2011-12 with International Justice Mission Kenya helping to free illegally detained clients. Observing how justice works-and doesn't work-in a developing country, she came home filled with "righteous rage" but tongue-tied: "I couldn't articulate why I was passionate, or who I wanted to help and why."

Next, as a teacher in Texas, Brittany found herself asking hard questions on how race and class affect both education and the U.S. justice system. Her special educations students, who were mostly Mexican-American, floundered in regular classes instead of receiving promised support-and then one of her 8th graders vanished into the juvenile justice system. "This is not fair!" she told herself. "I can't lose another Nick!"

In the Krista Foundation's structured debriefing and peer-mentoring process, Brittany started the difficult process of reconciling her ideals and her service experiences. Bringing the pieces together, she used her Service Leadership Grant to participate in the National summit for Courageous Conversations, exploring effective ways to bridge racial disparities and equip students for success.

Now a first-year student at Georgetown University Law Center, Brittany is excited to see "how the law interacts with diversity and race and what the patterns look like, what you can do, and what you can't." For Brittany, "what you can't do" will not be the end of the story.

 

3.6.13

SIP with Krista Colleagues: Service in Perspective

The Krista Foundation | Krista Foundation Press, Community, Integrating Service As A Way Of Life, Transitions Home & Beyond

SIP (Service in Perspective) with Krista Colleagues and Foundation Friends at our quarterly gathering!

When: Sunday, March 24th 4:00-6:00pm

Where: Seattle, WA

What: Join us for an informal time to connect and explore the joys and challenges of faith-filled service leadership in our personal and professional lives while enjoying the flavors of the season.

SIP will feature local wines by Sozo Friends. You can purchase single bottles of wine or become part of our quarterly Sojourner Wine Club. Sozo Friends partners with nonprofits, such as the Krista Foundation, and donates a percent of each bottle's proceeds to support the organization.

RSVP by March 18th to Valerie Norwood for details and directions. Space is limited.

val@kristafoundation.org or call 206-349-3582 

Next SIP Quarterly: June 23rd

PS these gatherings are for fun and community building. 
No cost, no ask.

5.7.12

Colleague Ingrid Hannan Reflects on our Conference Theme "Growing Service Leadership: Rooted for Life"

The Krista Foundation | Colleague Press, Environmental Projects, Environment, Transitions Home & Beyond, Environment

Register now for the 2012 Conference Guest Days! (May 26th and 27th) 

Ingrid Hannan, 2009 Colleague

As someone who has worked on organic farms, let me tell you: transplanting is a risky job. Your baby plant has set roots in a warm and humid greenhouse, is pulled out, and shoved firmly into the earth. The soil is different! The lighting, strange. The neighbors, unfamiliar. The biggest danger is shock. A plant will wilt and wither from the inability to fit into its new landscape. The effect might be temporary. It might be permanent. And yet more often than not, the leaves unfurl and the flowers bloom and growth occurs: ripe, green, glowing growth.

In the few years since graduating from college, I have experienced some damaging transplants of my own. I have moved four times, traveled stateside and abroad, tried several jobs, made friends and left them, gone home and said goodbye again. After trying a term of service in the Dominican Republic developing environmental education, I spent a full season interning at an organic farm in Colorado. While neither 'transplant' held me for more than a years' time, the experiences certainly contributed to my growth. I am not sure there is such a thing as a perfect place. One half of my soul pulls me to keep searching for it anyway. The other half of my soul encourages me to embrace settling in my roots around the imperfections.

But roots can take shape in other ways. Relationships take root in my heart. My spiritual learnings and discoveries create deep-rooted ideals and beliefs. While at times I can feel uprooted or face a challenging transplant, I can remain grounded to people, to causes, to choices, actions. This is where the Krista Foundation comes in. They are the tomato stake that supports my gangly green service limbs. The Krista Colleagues are a network of supporters to remind me that, in spite of the risks, I can still be grounded in a community based on nurturing a service leadership that inspires social justice.

This Memorial Day weekend (May 26-28) the Krista Foundation is putting on a conference with a theme I can relate to: Growing in Service Leadership: Rooted for Life. If you're at all like me, your very being resonates with the idea that serving our community stretches beyond a single event or commitment; it is simply a way of living that filters through to everything you do.

Come on Saturday or Sunday as a guest to support and connect with the Krista Colleagues. Come to participate in workshops that tackle practical, personal, social, and timeless issues in the world of serving our communities. This year, I have the opportunity to co-lead a workshop about how to live simply and eat well. Anthony DeLorenzo, a colleague from 2008, called me on the phone and we buzzed like bees with ideas and excitement about how and what to bring to the workshop. This is what it's all about: the exchange of ideas, the thrill of moving forward, the beauty of dwelling in place, and the humble commitment to intentional choices. The connections we foster lead to the most universally shared attribute of living things: growth. We live because we grow. And we grow when we give thought, intention, time, and love to the causes and communities rooted in our souls.

I hope to meet you at the Conference!

Register now for the 2012 Conference Guest Days! (May 26th and 27th) 

4.22.12

Colleague Considers Transferrable Skills from Service

The Krista Foundation | Colleague Press, Developing Nations, Urban America, Business, Faith/Theological Exploration, Post-Service Term Reflections, Transitions Home & Beyond

Originally from the town of Anacortes, Washington, Dave Stalsbroten moved to Seattle with a passion, for "seeing young people mature to live in genuine, whole-hearted relationship with Jesus." Motivated by values of reconciliation, generosity, and justice, he followed a sense of call to serve with AMOS Health and Hope, a Christian NGO that offers preventive healthcare to underserved communities. In rural Nicaragua, Dave managed donor communications and logistics for short-term delegations from the U.S.

Dave and AbbyCurrently in a major season of transition, Dave just finished planning his wedding (Dave with his new wife Abby at left), and is working on building his professional résumé. Dave is an entrepreneur and connector at heart. He knows his service experiences have stretched and strengthened his skills. Visiting our office earlier this month he asked, "How am I supposed to distill these profound service lessons into business world one-liners?" His question is the launch point for a workshop we'll offer at our May Conference. What wisdom can you offer Dave? (PLEASE ADD A COMMENT BELOW)

 

3.13.12

2012 Colleague Nominations Due March 20th

The Krista Foundation | Krista Foundation Press, Developing Nations, Environmental Projects, Urban America, Integrating Service As A Way Of Life, Preparing To Serve, Sustaining Service, Transitions Home & Beyond

Joe and Glen form the KFDue March 20th

Dear Krista Colleague Nominators and Foundation friends!

DO YOU KNOW A GRADUATING SENIOR OR ALUM BEGINNING OR CURRENTLY ENGAGED IN SIGNIFICANT VOLUNTEER SERVICE?

Please nominate young adults heading out or currently engaged in long-term volunteer or vocational service to become a 2012 Krista Colleague, including a $1,000 Service and Leadership Development Grant.

Nominations are due March 20th. Click here for Nomination criteriaOnline Nomination formDownloadable form in Doc or PDF.

  • Every year, we welcome a new cohort of "Krista Colleagues". Each joins a multi-year ecumenical Christian mentoring community and receives a $1,000 Service and Leadership Development Grant.
  • New Krista Colleagues engage in supplemental training as they begin extended volunteer or vocational service with the service organization of their choice (examples include PeaceCorps, Jesuit Volunteer Corps, Presbyterian Young Adult Volunteers, AmeriCorps, etc.)
  • After concluding their assignment, Krista Colleagues participate in a debriefing retreat, and engage in ongoing peer-mentoring and leadership development through the Foundation.

Please complete online nominations, or download the Doc or PDF and email to our office.

Questions?
Call 206-382-7888 or email our office if you have questions regarding a candidate's eligibility (acceptable income range for vocational or volunteer pay, duration of service, Pacific Northwest ties, etc.)

Please click the "share" button below and forward this to community members who may know potential nominees.

"Transforming service experiences into lives of service leadership."

Related Documents

Acrobat (PDF) Document

2012 Colleague Cohort nomination ad
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