McVay Alumni: Fellows 2008-2009 Jasmine Abraham Bethlehem Lutheran Church in the Midway Yo! My name is Jasmine Elise Abraham. I am a fellow at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in the Midway! I love my job, and I love my kids even more. The young men and women at Bethlehem are so amazing and magical! They have this ability to cheer you up from the worst possible day. They are beautiful, and inspire me to be as beautiful as they are! This will be my second year with McVay, and it saddens me to think about graduating and leaving the kids. Youth VOICE is an extraordinary program, and is where it’s at! This program has taught me a great deal about myself and who I want to be. I am a big nerd and love to study and do my homework. I am obsessed with reading autobiographies. My favorite book is Assata. I also am addicted to tattoos, dancing, and Frida Kahlo. If you were a fly on my bedroom wall you would watch me dance in front of my mirror for hours! I am a psychology and communications double major. My plans after Hamline consist of applying to the physician’s assistant master’s program at Augsburg, and I am also thinking about getting my master’s in social work … and of course keeping in touch with the students from Bethlehem! Anne Bergren Wheelock Parkway United Methodist Church My name is Anne Bergren and I am a senior at Hamline University. I am studying Economics and French. I have been working for McVay for two and a half years now, and it is by far one of the most meaningful experiences I have had at Hamline. I love the kids, their energy, excitement and all that they teach me. I especially enjoy working with ELL students because I am passionate about learning foreign languages and about cultures other than my own. Upon graduation I hope to spend a few years working before going to graduate school for international relations with a focus on the Middle East. Emily Brake Wheelock Parkway United Methodist Church Karyn Cave Liberty Plaza Hello! I’m Karyn, and I’m a sophomore at Hamline majoring in English and anthropology. I was born in Minnesota but spent the majority of my life growing up in Colorado. Even though I miss the beautiful mountains, it’s great living in Saint Paul. A few of my interests are: looking at all types of art, live theatre, Billy Joel, learning new words, body modification, and laughing way too hard. In my spare time you can usually find me writing something in a journal, spending time with people I love, working out, or wasting time on the computer. I’ve been with McVay for about a year, and I couldn’t be happier. I’m proud to be the newest fellow at Liberty because I really love working with the kids there. McVay has been a great opportunity because I am able to interact with youth and serve as a positive role model for them. Equally, they have really taught me a lot about myself as well. Besides the great kids I’m excited to work at Liberty because it is partnered with Dayton Avenue Presbyterian Church, which is the church I attended growing up when I lived here! Kelly Dahlman Bethlehem Lutheran Church in the Midway Hi, I'm Kelly Dahlman. I’m a senior at Hamline University, majoring in sociology and anthropology with a minor in women’s studies. I started working with the McVay Youth Partnership program during my sophomore year and am currently a fellow at Bethlehem Lutheran Church. Although I'm excited to graduate this year, I'm also sad that I will be leaving this great program, and will no longer see the kids three days a week. I'm incredibly grateful for having the opportunity to work for McVay Youth-VOICE, and to be a mentor for the kids. When I graduate, I hope to find a job in a non-profit organization. Eventually, I'd like to go to graduate school for sociology. Brittany Dalzell Liberty Plaza Hi! I’m Brittany, a senior at Hamline and a fellow at Liberty this year. I’ve been a part of the Youth-VOICE program for the past 2 ½ years and have worked at all of the sites we’ve had. I’m majoring in sociology with a minor in urban studies and certificate of proficiency in Spanish. I love being busy and am always on the go. I enjoy dancing, working out, going out to eat, hanging out with my parents and sisters, going out with my friends on the weekends, and watching TV shows on DVD (so I can avoid commercials!). I like anything that has to do with sharks or dancing, and want to travel pretty much everywhere in the world. I am also fascinated by languages and wish I could speak more of them. I love my job with Youth-VOICE and it will be tough to say good-bye, but hopefully I will continue to work with young people in the future. Larry Deeton, Jr. Bethlehem Lutheran Church in the Midway Hello my name is Larry Deeton Jr. I am a psychology major in my junior year at Hamline University. I am on the football team and I am an active member in numerous organizations on campus including the McVay Youth Voice Program. I am an associate for McVay and I have been in the program for almost a year now. I am a music lover. I am competitive in everything that I do and I put 100 percent into everything. Working in the McVay program has opened up my eyes and heart, and I will forever take what I have learned in it with me for the rest of my life. In high school I was a two-time champion in track and was honored to be in the top 25 football players in Houston in my position. I look to further my work with McVay and be the best I can be for the kids. Dave Edwards Ousmane Diop My name is Ousmane Diop, and I am a Fulbright Grantee from Senegal, the most Western African country with French as the official language. I speak French, Fula, Wolof, Spanish, and English. And now I am studying Ki-Swahili on my own. I came to America 2 years ago, and after a few months of pre-academic training at Ohio University in Athens, OH, I ended up at Hamline University. I am an English major and ESL minor. I intend to go to grad school for African studies and international relations because I am very interested in politics, especially African politics. I found out about McVay through friends, and I am glad that my curiosity led me to apply. Working with kids at Emma's Place has been such an enriching experience in my life. I have learned how to be a mentor, a friend, and confident - without losing my authority. I've also learned how to get things done without being authoritative. Mostly I have acquired invaluable communicative skills. I like having fun, running miles, and playing basketball and soccer with friends. Laura Fett Alington Hills United Methodist Church My name is Laura Fett. I'm a senior at Hamline and am majoring in management and economics and with a minor in sociology. I've been working with McVay since September 2006, and have been a fellow at Arlington since we opened the site last January. I have lots of hobbies including: scrap-booking, crocheting, horse-back riding, playing guitar, and hanging out with friends and family. My plans are to graduate from Hamline and get a job as a financial planner! I love working with all of the students in this program, and am glad to be a part of it. Sara Mitambo Emma’s Place My name is Sara Mitambo. I am from Cameroon in West and Central Africa. I am the only girl in a family of five, meaning that I have four brothers … three older brothers and one young brother. I have a passion in life for tennis, which I have been playing since I was about five years old. I am also a part of the tennis team at my school. I am a senior at Hamline University, and I will be majoring in international management/business with a minor in French. I speak French fluently since it is my native language. I am really glad to be a part of the McVay program, and I really adore the kids. Jesada Moua Wheelock Parkway United Methodist Church My name is Jesada Moua. I’m a junior at Hamline, majoring in social studies with a minor in education. I’m a fellow at Wheelock. This is my second year with the McVay Youth-VOICE Program, and I hope to continue working for the program in the upcoming year. I really enjoy being part of the program because I plan on getting my teaching license. Working with the program has helped me learn what is effective, and what isn’t. I also enjoy working with the students, because I feel that it is important to help students gain a better understanding of the work they’re doing. It’s inspirational to see them learn from us as mentors, tutors, and interns. I’m not involved in any sports, but I would like to try out for the Hamline football team in the future. I also enjoy playing any sort of sport for fun with friends. Currently, I am the president of the Hmong Student Association Organization at Hamline. For fun, I enjoy playing sports, reading, drawing, playing games, learning about and working on cars, and more. In the future, I hope to get my teaching license so I can work with and teach students. I am the second oldest child in my family, and I have three siblings. I was born in Thailand. I came to the U.S. when I was young and lived in Wisconsin for about ten years and then moved here to Minnesota. Currently, my parents live in Minneapolis. I live on campus in one of the theme houses that Hamline owns. I really enjoy living on campus and hope to get my own place once I get everything settled. Long Nguyen Arlington Hills United Methodist Church Long Nguyen is an international student at Hamline University. Raised in Hanoi, Vietnam, Long got out of his comfort zone and came to the United States four years ago to learn to live independently. He is majoring in management, and he believes that working for McVay would improve his leadership skills and abilities to interact with people. Besides studying, he also loves sports and dancing. For him, sports and dancing are the best ways to get acquainted and know other people . Jess Pearson My name is Jess Pearson and I am a junior majoring in Sociology with a minor in Religion. On Campus I am involved with NCORE, PRIDE BSA, and Commitment to Community. I also served as an SOS Leader. This is my first year working as a fellow with Emma's Place and I am excited to be working with the kids/youth and staff. Greg Simonson Arlington Hills United Methodist Church This year I am a senior psychology major. I am originally from Fargo, ND, and I do like the movie. I love to be outside biking, and I love jumping on any opportunity to travel to a foreign country (the count is up to 14!). Also, I’m sort of a self-proclaimed movie buff. As far as Hamline activities go, I am involved with the cycling club, Hand-in-Hand mentorship program, research, obviously the McVay Youth VOICE Program, and SOS (first year orientation leader). Stephanie Tofte Arlington Hills United Methodist Church Hey, I'm Stephanie Tofte. Hailing from Madison, WI, I'm a senior at Hamline majoring in sociology and global studies. In the distant future, I think I want to be an English teacher, but I want to put off growing up for a bit… probably by traveling and seeing the world. Last spring I spent a semester and December and January in Senegal in West Africa, combining my love for travel, languages, and kids into an amazing six months. McVay Youth-VOICE has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life; there's never a dull moment with such incredible kids! Ichchha Upadhyaya Wheelock Parkway United Methodist Church My name is Ichchha, and I am a senior at Hamline University majoring in biochemistry. I am an international student, and my home is in Kathmandu, Nepal. I’ve lived here in Minnesota for more than three years, and am still trying to deal with the cold weather. When I’m not homesick I enjoy living here very much. I used to work at a children’s hospital in Nepal, and I love helping people; especially kids. I started working for McVay last year as an intern at Wheelock, and this year I am there as a fellow. I really enjoy working with kids because I get to learn a lot from them. Working for McVay is the most fun job I’ve ever had, because I can relate to the kids that I mentor; they trust me and we are all friends. Adam Vetvick Bethlehem Lutheran Church-in-the-Midway I’m Adam Vetvick, a fellow at Bethlehem! I am a social justice major with a concentration in urban issues and urban youth. I have lived in the Midway area for my entire life. I love working with the kids because it gives me an opportunity to watch them mature and grow as people. Besides McVay, I spend my time as an amateur licensed boxer and trainer, as a Hand in Hand mentor, and as a leader in the Each One Teach One Service Learning Program. Caleb Williamson Liberty Plaza My name is Caleb Williamson, and I’m a junior and a half at Hamline University. I’m studying English, which sounds boring but it’s not! I was born in Missouri and have lived in Maine, Minnesota, and Florida. I love to drink coffee and to dance. I enjoy more success with the former. This is my first year with McVay. I serve as a Fellow at Liberty Plaza. I love the job because of the kids and wonderful coworkers.