Introduce Yourself!

OVC Essentials Fall 2021 Introduce Yourself!

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    • #76236
      Leah St. Pierre
      CAFO Staff

      Please introduce yourself to the group! Where are you from? What do you do? What brings you to this course? What else is important to know about you?

    • #76302
      Tiffany Edison
      Participant

      Hi!  I’m Tiffany Edison.  I’m from Tulsa, Oklahoma.  I work as the Bookkeeper & Administrative Coordinator for Bless the Children Ministries (BTCM), working out of a small village in Uganda.  My Executive Director recommended this course to me so we can all have a shared language.  The rest of my team has been working with CAFO now for a year, and we have been so blessed by CAFO’s support and encouragement!  I am the only part-time staff on our US team.  I have 2 kids, 8 (girl-adopted) and almost-5 (boy-biological).  My daughter does competitive gymnastics…and that is my life now 🙂 My daughter is from BTCM!

      • #76418
        Sarah Alfieri
        Participant

        <p style=”text-align: left;”>Hey Tiffany! I loved getting to hear a little about your life and work, thank you for sharing! What region of Uganda is the organization located in? I have been to Uganda, and absolutely loved my time there. Can’t wait to get to know you better over the course of this class! Have a wonderful weekend.</p>

      • #76455
        Tiffany Edison
        Participant

        Hi Sarah!  We are in a little village called Mabaale, which is near Kagadi in the Western region of Uganda!  Where have you been in Uganda??!!!  I stayed there for 3 months during our adoption, and have visited several places 🙂

    • #76317
      Riley Habegger
      Participant

      Hi there! My name is Riley Habegger and I am from Athens, GA. I am a full time student at the University of Georgia, finishing up my undergraduate degree in Human Development and Family Science this spring to then hopefully work towards a Masters in Social Work. I am an intern at Chosen for Life Ministries, a local non-profit organization that works to help churches, communities, and families find their role in caring for adopted and foster children. I am also a cross country coach and a YoungLife leader at a local school, so that is what I am doing most of the time in addition to school and interning!

      • #76438
        Meredith Smylie
        Participant

        Hi Riley,

        It looks like you like to keep busy! What are you looking to do with your degree in the future?

      • #76440
        Riley Habegger
        Participant

        That is a great question, Meredith! I have a lot of different considerations. I would love to do long-term missions, or work for DFCS, or be a nurse, or a counselor! I have a lot of different interests as one can tell haha! We will see where I end up!

    • #76416
      Sarah Alfieri
      Participant

      Hey everyone, so great to meet you all! My name is Sarah Alfieri, and I am from Charleston, SC. I work as the Director of Engagement at HopeCo, a Christian nonprofit that serves in Tanzania and Kenya. I grew up as a missionary kid in China for 10 years, and have been to various East African countries over the last six years with different nonprofits. My entire life has been spent working with and immersed in vulnerable populations, and I am passionate about learning more to be able to serve and help in the best way possible!

      A few fun facts about me: I recently got married at the end of 2020, we have an overly energetic lab puppy and two cats! My husband is a high school science teacher, and we are about to move into our first home together!

      • #76421
        Riley Habegger
        Participant

        Sarah,

        That sounds so exciting that you’ve been to so many different countries. I bet each one has had such an incredible impact on the way you experience new cultures. I can’t wait to hear more about your experiences throughout the duration of this course!

      • #76516
        Katya Heyl
        Participant

        <p style=”text-align: left;”>Hello Sarah, I wanted to know what parts of China you lived in? On the call you said that you lived on the southern border of Vietnam. In 2019 I taught English in eastern China and loved it, sadly the borders are still closed and the GVNMT has made teaching online illegal.</p>

    • #76417
      Dorathy Lachman
      Participant

      Hello!  My name is Dorathy Lachman.  I’m am in a small town in Kentucky, about an hour from Louisville.

      In a previous life chapter, I was a canine handler for crisis & disaster response.  My canine, Ziggy (who is now retired and lives with us), and I regularly visited children in our local lock-down unit for mental health.  The majority of the children were in the foster care system.  That was the beginning of my exposure to the deep need.  From there, I became a CASA (court appointed special advocate) and have been looking for ways to live out the compassion and heart that God has for orphans and vulnerable members in our society.

      I recently joined as an intern for CAFO working with the More Than Enough Initiative.  I learned about the course through the internship, and I am really looking forward to it!

      • #76419
        Erika Bates
        Participant

        Oh wow, being a canine handler sounds amazing! I love that you’re a CASA now. CASAs are so incredibly valuable to my kiddos in foster care!!

    • #76420
      Erika Bates
      Participant

      Hi there! I’m Erika and I live near Athens, Georgia. I’m a mom to two girls- our 7 year old we adopted at birth, and our 2 year old is in foster care. We’ve had her for almost 2 years and hope to be her forever family soon! We are in the process of having our home study amended so that we can take foster placement of older kids and teens, so that should be an exciting adventure! (Imagine the nervous face emoji here, haha.) I recently started working for Chosen for Life Ministries as a foster care support coordinator and wanted to take this course to get some good background knowledge and to get on the same page with everyone else on staff! And now that I know I can get continuing education hours for our annual foster care requirements…that really doesn’t hurt, haha!

    • #76423
      Dorathy Lachman
      Participant

      Hi Erika,

      What an exciting journey!  I can definitely imagine the nervous face, but also the impact you will have.  I’m looking forward to hearing more about your experiences with your children in foster care throughout this course.

    • #76437
      Meredith Smylie
      Participant

      Hi everyone!

      My name is Meredith Smylie, and I am from metro Detroit. I serve as an administrator at a small, family-like residential program in a lovely rural area outside the city! I attended the CAFO summit a couple of weeks ago, and wanted to learn more about what other people are doing in the orphan-care world, and also sharpen my skills. I used to be a marine biologist and have a heavy research background, so I am very passionate about the data side of things! I am looking forward to getting to know each of you during the course and being sharpened by each of your own experiences and perspectives!

      • #76519
        Riley Habegger
        Participant

        That is SO cool that you were a marine biologist. That was my dream job coming into college! I love your desire to learn more about orphan care and I think you’ll add a really interesting perspective overall considering your research background.

    • #76442
      Christy Wiesner
      Participant

      Hello everyone! My name is Christy. I am originally from Estes Park, Colorado. I went to public university in Colorado to receive a degree as an elementary teacher and then immediately moved overseas. I spent the last four years living in North Africa helping to start an international school that serves local students. I am currently on a year of home assignment and am living in Buffalo, New York with my sisters family. I am working as their nanny for their 8 month old and am taking classes in preparation for going overseas next fall. I am trying to focus my classes on areas I felt I was lacking during my time in North Africa. I am taking Perspectives, this course, classes through my local church, and am also working on a certificate in Biblical Theology. I plan to move to Jordan next fall to work with another school. I am hoping the things I learn through this class will help me to love and serve better in my work!

      • #76522
        Gretta Bartow
        Participant

        Hi Christy! Your work in North Africa sounds so cool, I’m sure that’s an experience that’ll definitely stick with you forever. I hope you’re enjoying Buffalo! Being from NY, I’ve been a couple of times and it is such a fun (and cold :)) place to be and I hope you’re able to explore upstate NY on you home assignment, it is so beautiful this time of year. It is so great that you’ve decided to continue working toward improving when it comes to serving others, and I’m looking forward to getting to know you throughout the course!

    • #76444
      Gretta Bartow
      Participant

      Hi everyone!

      My name is Gretta, and I am a senior in college at Liberty University in VA, but I’m originally from Upstate NY.  I am a brand new communications intern with CAFO. I came to CAFO and the course because I am so inspired by how Jesus loved children and being able to make vulnerable children feel safe is something I hope to always keep working at. I’m a big sister to seven siblings, and have been getting more involved in kid’s ministry at my church, so I am truly looking forward to learning more about how to serve children.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to get to know you all and to learn with you!

      • #76445
        Christy Wiesner
        Participant

        Hey Gretta! I love your statement about always working towards helping vulnerable children feel safe. I agree that this is a process and there is always more to learn! Each individual has different needs and keeping a humble, teachable attitude is so important as we walk the journey. I am excited for you as you pursue this internship and continue serving children in new ways!

    • #76988
      Ruth Ataguba
      Participant
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