Serve Well Blog

Entries tagged 'Urban America'


Introducing the 2012 Krista Colleague Cohort

The Krista Foundation | Krista Foundation Press, Developing Nations, Environmental Projects, Urban America, Community, Integrating Service As A Way Of Life, Preparing To Serve

The Krista Foundation for Global Citizenship is thrilled to announce the 2012 Krista Colleague cohort. These creative young leaders are currently or soon to be heading into long term volunteer or vocational service in developing nations, urban U.S., or the environment. They were recently commissioned at the Krista Foundation's Annual Conference over Memorial Day Weekend. Watch the video and discover where their journey of service is taking them next!

Join the Krista Foundation for Global Citizenship in celebrating their choice to serve and learn from communities across the U.S. and around the world.

The Krista Foundation accompanies young adults before, during, and for years after long-term volunter or vocational service. The purpose is to empower these young adults to transform their service experiences into lives of service leadership.

To scroll though the list of 2012 Colleagues, click here.

Learn more about the Krista Foundation.


5.20.12 is the KF Annual Day of Prayer

The Krista Foundation | Krista Foundation Press, Developing Nations, Environmental Projects, Urban America, Community, Faith/Theological Exploration, Integrating Service As A Way Of Life, Sustaining Service

Day of Prayer | 5.20

Kara with kids in BoliviaEach year, the KF marks May 20th as a special day of prayer for the life of The Krista Foundation extended community. We pause to remember the young adults accompanying people around the world in mutual service and learning. Krista Colleagues serving around the globe send in celebrations and prayer requests.

In Spokane: Join a gathering from 3-5PM at the Hearth for afternoon tea in the garden.
(9115 N. Mtn. View Lane, Spokane, 99218)
Elsewhere in the world: Join in prayer at 12 noon where you are.

To request the full Prayer Guide in PDF, please email (we will email it to you on the 18th).


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)



Service Leadership Update- A Voice for Justice

The Krista Foundation | Colleague Press, Urban America, Arts & Culture, Community, Education, Faith/Theological Exploration, Poverty: Urban US & International, Sustaining Service

nikkita oliver, photo by Contina Kemp"Justice, like people, has living impact" writes Nikkita Oliver ('08), who currently teaches poetry, debate and biblical leadership, and runs the chapel program at the Seattle Urban Academy (SUA). Serving for two years as a chaplain and service provider at the King County Youth Detention Center, Nikkita accompanied youth struggling in the system, and listened to their stories. "...The law should work to the benefit of the people,"writes Nikkita, "In my experience, I have not seen the law work as such." These troubling encounters have strengthened her resolve to bring legal literacy and empowerment to her south Seattle community.


Colleagues Nikkita Oliver '08 and Laura Wright '11She has a track record of developing community youth. An active musician and spoken word artist, Nikkita facilitates community spaces for youth to give voice to their world. A member of the 2011 KF Conference planning team, also she used her artistic gifts to lead the worship service. This month, Nikkita received the exciting news that she earned a full scholarship to attend the University of Washington Law School. The KF community celebrates Nikkita as she takes the next step on her journey of service leadership.


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!


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.

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
Download (743Kb, pdf)


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 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.


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.


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?


Walking Alongside in Sitka

The Krista Foundation | Colleague Press, Urban America, Poverty: Urban US & International, Sustaining Service

Liz Purdy carves totem in SitkaLiz Purdy’s enthusiastic heart for service has taken the Seattle native to the far corners of the nation. In 2010, she spent five months teaching English to refugees at Jubilee Partners, an intentional Christian service community in Comer, Georgia. Last Fall, she moved from the southeastern United States to the southeast of Alaska to work in the town of Sitka. As a participant in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest, Liz is a women’s advocate at Sitkans Against Family Violence (SAFV) working alongside survivors of domestic violence. At SAFV, Liz assists with housing applications, connects women with pro-bono legal work and public assistance, prepares protective orders and accompanies women to court if so desired. “We are women willing to help other women navigate an often challenging legal and social service system that is rarely ‘user friendly,’” Liz said. She appreciates the philosophy of SAFV, saying, "We never tell a woman what we think she should do, but we let her know what her options are, offer objective feedback, and inform her as best we can about the tools she has at her disposal.”

This year, Liz has come face to face with the complexity of helping women in a cycle of abuse, and she has learned accompaniment in the process. “It’s hard to have women come in and ask for help, just to go back to dangerous situations or to feed their addictions. They may come back the next day, the next week, or never,” Liz said. This harsh reality reinforced for Liz that not only is she not called to fix anyone’s problems, but also that she couldn’t if she wanted to. Rather, her role is to listen and to support these women who struggle to make sense of their situation and try to move forward. Some days the positive change is hard to see.

At times, Liz misses the more measurable progress of teaching English back at Jubilee, and she often wonders where she'll find herself when her JVC-Northwest term is over. A concept Liz heard from former KF Keynote Father Greg Boyle has particularly resonated with her throughout this time: “We’re not called to be successful, we’re called to be faithful.” Focusing on the present, Liz is better able to walk alongside women struggling with feelings of hopelessness, helping them take the small steps toward healing and hope. 

Be sure to check out Liz's blog at
Special thanks to Annie Mesaros (09') for contributing this piece.


Video: 2011 KF Conference Keynote

The Krista Foundation | Krista Foundation Press, Developing Nations, Environmental Projects, Urban America, Faith/Theological Exploration, Intercultural Development

"How do we let the city be our classroom, and the world our teacher?" Asked Ron Ruthruff. 

At the Krista Foundation Annual Mentoring Conference, former, current and future service volunteers gathered to discuss the "Beautiful Struggle" of hope, tension and grace that we live out in an increasingly diverse and rapidly changing world. We asked the question: How do we encourage and recognize hope in surprising places, in the gifts and perspectives most different from our own, in companions persevering together to love the world?

By sharing the ways his own transformation through encounters from the streets of Seattle to the slums of Calcutta, Dr. Ron Ruthruff challenges us to listen, unlearn, and be transformed. Part 1 begins with a 90 second introduction by Krista Foundation Executive Director Valerie Norwood. 


Watch Part 2 (Ecumenism and loving the city)
Watch Part 3 (Cities can tell us the best and worst about ourselves)
Watch Part 4. (How do we DO all of this? Listen and (un)learn...)

Ron Ruthruff is the author of The Least of These: Lessons Learned from Kids on the Street. He has worked for 26 years with homeless and street-involved youth and families as Director of Ministry and Program Development for New Horizons Ministries. He and his wife, Linda recently opened a nonprofit Seattle café called Street Bean that provides job training and employment for young adults working to exit street life. Ron has lectured in Kenya, Guatemala, Cambodia and India and speaks across the nation on topics including high-risk youth and early intervention strategies; street culture and sociological aspects of prostitution; adolescent culture, development, and trauma; and urban missiology. Ron serves as adjunct faculty at Bakke Graduate School and guest lectures at a variety of seminaries and colleges.