Meet Roxana!

Roxana is in the process of becoming a licensed psychologist. She is eager to learn more about leadership and take advantage of this opportunity for her own personal growth. After graduating from the program, Roxana plans to return to teach English in the NPH El Salvador home. When asked about what NPH means to her, Roxana replied, “It is my family and my home…It the place where you can achieve your dreams and share them with others. It is the family where you can celebrate your triumphs and failures with your youngest to oldest brothers and sisters.” Roxana loves to play soccer and swim in her free time. We are excited to welcome you to Seattle, Roxana!

roxana

Meet David from Guatemala!

David is in his first year of studying clinical psychology. In the last few years, David has taken on the responsibilities of working with young adults supporting NPH Guatemala. He recognizes the unique talent within individuals and is excited to learn more about how to support people. David recognizes the vastness of leadership, stating that, “there are endless amounts of definitions of leadership. Many can claim to be leaders, but few know the importance of quality leadership and take advantage of it…It begins with recognizing my own self-worth.” David loves playing soccer and listening to music outside of working with the Hermano Mayores program. Welcome to Seattle, David!David

Welcome Mariela!

Mariela is a practicing orthodontist in Mexico. She is excited to continue developing her own leadership skills while also learning about new ones. Mariela finds different cultures fascinating, and she is especially looking forward to being in the United States to meet new people. Mariela says that much of her own strength comes from living in NPH Mexico. “It (NPH) provides love and safety. It emphasizes the importance of education and teaches the values of sharing, working hard, and educating youth for the future so that they can contribute to the workforce and break the cycle of poverty.” In her spare time, Mariela enjoys photography and theater.  Welcome to Seattle, Mariela!!mariela3

Meet Samuel, from Haiti!

Samuel has his electro-mechanical degree. He eventually wants to study law to work for children in poverty. During his time in Seattle, he hopes to work on improving his communication skills within a team and speaking in public. Samuel is deeply motivated by faith, expressing that it has been his foundation during challenging times. Samuel says, “I want to expand my knowledge of what it means to be a leader and what it takes to be a great leader. I think I will learn to know myself better and in turn, I will learn how to lead others well.” Samuel can be found playing basketball or eating spicy food in his free time. Welcome to Seattle, Samuel!!Samuel

Meet Saravia from Honduras!

Saravia is currently in the process of obtaining her degree in Nutrition. Her future plans include becoming a chef, and eventually returning to the NPH Honduras home. She has participated in prior NPH Leadership conferences and spent last summer in Pennsylvania working at a YMCA camp. Saravia looks forward to learning more about teamwork and having opportunities to practice what she is learning. She says, “My main motivation for participating in the program is to grow as a person, learn more about NPH, and to be a strong representative of Honduras.” Her favorite hobbies include cooking and horseback riding. Welcome to Seattle, Saravia!!saravia.jpg

Meet our new student, Jimmy!

Jimmy is our student from Nicaragua! Jimmy just finished his first year studying Political Science and International Relations in college. He loves to interact with people from different cultures in order to learn how to better understand the world. Jimmy is excited to be an ambassador of NPH while in Seattle through learning about active leadership. When asked about important qualities of a leader, Jimmy responded that humility is the most important. “We cannot ever forget where we come from in order to always remember where we are going. A leader is empathetic, democratic, enthusiastic, innovative, creative and patient.” In his free time, Jimmy loves to watch movies and spend time with loved ones. Welcome to Seattle, Jimmy!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Transitions

On June 25th, I walked across the stage to receive my Master’s Degree from The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology.  In the audience (and others there in spirit) was my family. They had come from Seattle and Spokane, as well as from Haiti, Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua to bear witness to this moment with me.

IMG_5125.JPG

The Seattle School Graduation.

On June 26th, I listened at an NPHI Board Meeting to Donna Egge and Miguel Venegas as they reminded me of how far we had come together over the past 6 years of shaping and then beginning The Seattle Institute.

IMG_5331.JPG

Miguel and Kara during the NPHI Board Meeting.

I mention both of these days not only because they were two significant endings so close together, but also because The Seattle School and NPH have been interwoven in my life for the past four years.  As I have grown as a therapist, the leadership program has grown and developed.  As I have learned who I am uniquely created to be in the world, I have been better able to accompany our young people in that same journey.  As I stepped into a school with its own recent history of transitions, failure, and redemption – I was newly able to imagine that for NPH as well.

I will be forever grateful to NPHI for taking the risk they took in launching this program.  And, I will be forever grateful to The Seattle School for the transformation that began in my heart within that brick building.

A week later, on July 3rd, we celebrated our fifth graduating class of The Seattle Institute.  In the audience were alumni from four years of the Seattle program, along with our Seattle Community which has so lovingly embraced this program from day one.  The graduating students spoke wisely and courageously as they shared with us what they had learned during their time in Seattle.  If you missed it, you can listen to their speeches here: 2016 Student Speeches

grad7.jpg

Alberto sharing his thoughts on leadership.

We shared a bit about how the program came to be and where we are now, including introducing our partners from iLEAP and the NPH staff members who were in Seattle for a month-long leadership training.  We were also excited to share an update on our alumni and the good and inspiring work they are doing in the communities.  You can read those here: Where are they now?

grad lost

Jean Francois (Charter Class) reflects on the first year of The Seattle Institute.

Finally, the graduates and alumni offered a gift I will always treasure – their words and memories about their time in the program.  Jean Francois Seide (charter class) was there to remind us of some of the realities of that first year, for we certainly had a steep learning curve!  I am glad we can now laugh about how lost we often felt (or literally were) in that first year – and I am grateful for all the learning that has come from it.

IMG_1288

Charter Class with NPHI Leadership in 2011.

Those first students: JF, Emir, Wendy, Julissa, Digyana were the pioneers of this program and their legacy is strong.  I am thankful for them and their willingness to “go with the flow” as we learned together during that first year.  We are also grateful to the supporters and host families who joined us as we got our feet under us along the way.  The vision of this program takes time to fulfill, and the results may not always be quickly seen.  But, that first class is clear evidence something beautiful is at work here: JF is headed to Oxford to pursue a Master’s Degree in Public Policy, Emir is in his 5th year of Medical School in Monterrey, Wendy is finishing her degree in Linguistics and runs the Girl’s Home at NPH Honduras during weekend and vacations, Julissa is a fabulous mother and works at a bilingual call center in Guatemala City as well as being involved in the Hermanos Mayores Group for NPH Guatemala, and Digyana lives in Tegucigalpa with her husband Denis and is the lead Montessori teacher at NPH Honduras.  It is stunning to me to see the good work they are each doing.  I could go on about our other alumni as well, but instead, I will invite you again to read more about each of them here: Where are they now?

As the other alumni and students blessed me with their words, they also offered tangible gifts that I will take with me into my work as a therapist.  It is a lovely way to carry them with me as I make this transition.  Thank you to each and every one of you!

grad lineup.jpg

Seattle Institute Students from Classes of 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2016.

Finally, a shout out to Donna Egge.  Donna has believed in, and dreamt of, this program long before it even crossed my imagination.  She has been a mentor to me throughout the process of getting it up and running.  Donna, thank you for your passion, your wisdom, your courage, and your friendship.  You have taken my late night calls when things were falling apart (and helped me see they really weren’t), you have challenged (and oh, so gently guided) me when I was veering off-course, you have supported me when it felt overwhelming, you have celebrated with me when the beauty of the students made my heart sing, you have done all of this and so much more.  Deep, sincere gratitude to you and all you have been to me during this process.

IMG_9017

Donna with students from the Class of 2015.

Tomorrow, we begin the real work of transitioning to our next Program Director, Jacqueline Shrader.  You will hear more from Jacqueline in the coming weeks and months, for now please join me in welcoming her into our NPH Seattle family.  Jacqueline can be reached at: jacqueline.shrader@nph.org.

grad2.jpg

The NPH Seattle Community met Jacqueline at Graduation o July 3rd!

It has been my honor and deep privilege to be on this journey with you.  I can continue to be reached for NPH-related topics through August at kara.king@nph.org.  Otherwise, you can find me at: kara@karakingcounseling.com.

Peace and All Good Things (Paz y Bien),

Kara King