Recently, Rosedale International (RI) welcomed Kara as she stepped into the position of Personnel Facilitator. In this role (formerly Assistant Director of Short-Term Programs), Kara will provide spiritual discipleship and interpersonal guidance to the young adults who come through the REACH, City Challenge, and RI Internship programs. She will help to develop and facilitate these programs, and provide support and leadership where needed.
Kara, who hails from Cowlesville, New York, is no stranger to Rosedale International. Like many others, her first experience with RI was through the REACH program. In 2016, she joined REACH’s first team to Indochina, and would return the following year to lead Team Indochina herself.
Looking back, Kara sees this as a formative season of her life. “A lot of my personality aspects ‘got broken’ in REACH.” As an oldest child, Kara’s organized, methodical, do-it-just-so personality clashed with the region’s laid back culture. “It was extremely hard for me at first. After a couple months of stressing about everything, I realized, I’m not going to survive outreach if I continue to try to make this culture fit into my ideal way of operating.” She asked God to show her how to operate in a new way—and although it wasn’t always smooth sailing from there, Kara learned to release her grip. Today, she describes herself as much more flexible, laid back, and go-with-the-flow. “It’s become a strength in a lot of different areas where being so rigid wouldn’t have continued to serve me.”
“There’s so much we can learn from each other.”
The experience of living with a team also deeply impacted Kara’s life. She thrived on team life, and loved the interpersonal aspects of working with other humans. “What I learned relationally is one of the biggest impacts that REACH had on me. People are so different, and there’s so much we can learn from each other.”
The experience was so compelling to her that she went to college to pursue a degree in Health and Human Services at the University at Buffalo. “I wanted to bring a more practical side to this interest of mine. What are the tools and skills that I can cultivate to be better connected and better understand people? What are good questions to ask? How can I navigate different communication or conflict styles? It’s been a fascinating part of pursuing further education.”
Kara’s time in REACH, combined with her educational experience, has uniquely equipped her for this position. As she looks toward her years in this role, Kara is excited to help young adults navigate their experiences through REACH, Internship, and City Challenge. “There are really practical things we can learn to cultivate better communication. I think especially with young adults, there’s an opportunity to start working on patterns they’re already developing. I hope to be able to say, you’re not doomed to live out this pattern for the rest of your life. Is it serving you? If not, let’s change it so you can enter your intern team, your REACH team—and go back home to your families and friendships—with some better tools and healthier ways of interacting with other people.”