"I am a site manager of a family shelter where I case manage families to help bring stability in their lives. At CBU, I learned about practices in social change that have and haven’t worked. That is beneficial in figuring out the best way to run a program."

Quick Facts

Program: B.A. in Intercultural Studies
Concentration: Global Justice
Graduation Year: 2016
Current Job Title: Site Manager of Family Shelter Services
Hometown: Port Angeles, WA
Current City: Long Beach, CA

Life at CBU

Why did you choose your major? What interested you in this particular field of study?
I want to serve God and others and I’m interested in cultures. My goal with the major was to be a missionary, but before I am able to, I want to serve here in the homeless community.

What did you like about being in this program at CBU?
The many wonderful professors really care and encourage you in your studies and goals. There was also a great deal of valuable information that helped me in my outreach ministry at that time.

What did you think about your professors?
My professors were wonderful. They were very knowledgeable and shared that willingly with their students. 

Did you complete an internship?
I completed a practicum which took place at GUMBO homeless ministry.

Did you participate in anything else at CBU? 
I was part of two Urban Excursion teams, ISP Thailand deaf outreach 2014 team, and ISP Russia students 2015 team. I met friends who I’m still in touch with during those times and grew in my faith. 

How did you grow (spiritually, socially, educationally) while in this program at CBU?
This program is what I attribute my spiritual growth to during my college years. I grew in understanding, of sharing the gospel, and discipleship during this program. The first class I took was Models of Discipleship with Jeff Lewis and I couldn’t think of any better way to have started my time at CBU.

Did your major help you figure out your purpose?
I wouldn’t say that it helped me figure it out, but it did confirm it.

Life after CBU

What have you done since graduating?
I worked at the Financial Aid Office right after graduating. I got married to Ryan Koher on August 21, 2016. We moved to Port Angeles, WA, in April, where I am now working at a nonprofit. We are in communication with a contact at MAF and hope to be missionaries with them by 2020. Currently, I manage the 45-day family shelter. This involves consistent case management to guide the families into a stable housing situation preferably before the 45-day stay is reached. This includes helping find housing and connecting them with their Housing Resource Center Case Manager, guiding them toward employment resources, connecting them with resources for mental health, recovery, legal help, food, and clothing. I also help them learn to budget and we have a savings program. My goal is to help the family find housing and be successful in that housing. While this is my main focus, I also help at the Single Adult Shelters as needed. I do weekly trips to the Food Bank to pick up food for the shelter and I take our linens to the laundry cleaners weekly. I also assist as needed in place of the Site Manager during meetings with the clients for the 45-day Single Adult Shelter as well as filling in for staff at the Night by Night Emergency Single Adult Shelter checking in clients for the night, driving them in the shelter van from in town to the shelter at night or from the shelter into town in the morning, and ensuring safety and cleanliness of the shelter during the night.

How has your major and time at CBU prepared you for your life and career after college?
Many of the practices I put into place at the organization I work for were discussed during my program. I now case manage and the skills I’ve learned help me to communicate and understand my clients. The skills also help me know how to help the clients and take each client case by case.

Is there anything you learned at CBU that you still use in your professional life today?
I’m helping strengthen the Family Shelter Service as the new site manager and a key thing I learned at CBU that I use is social capital. That’s essentially what my position is. Social capital is important for people to know what resources are available and have someone to advocate for them. I also learned about practices in social change that have and haven’t worked. That is beneficial in going back to figuring out the best way to run a program.

How are you making a difference in the world?
I am serving God through attempting to glorify Him in all I do. I am helping those who are in need find stable situations. I am a site manager of a family shelter where I case manage families to help bring stability in their lives.

Would you recommend CBU to others?
Yes! The lessons, mentors, friends and experiences gained are so worth it.