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Hope College April 2013 : Page 12

A Greater Hope Impact on many T he impact of a gift to Hope doesn’t get any more meaningful, personal and immediate than this. Mikella Bryant ’12 Van Dyke had thrived during her first two years at Hope, which had emerged as the perfect choice during her college search. “I was looking around for Christian schools that also have a dance program. Hope is one of the only ones,” she said. She valued her academic program, majoring in communication and dance, but there was more than that. She had grown up as a “third-culture kid,” the daughter of missionaries working in Thailand to translate the Bible for the Karenni people. After attending five high schools, abroad as well as in the States, she also found a sense of belonging. “Except for the winter, I think everything else was just a good fit for me,” Van Dyke said. “I think that Hope helps with that transition Levels because it’s a nurturing environment.” As she finished her sophomore year, though, finances became a challenge and she faced the prospect of leaving. She had even said her goodbyes, but then a true blessing happened: she became the first recipient of the college’s new “Scholarship for Children of Missionaries,” developed as part of the A Greater Hope comprehensive campaign to meet the financial need of students whose parents are long-term missionaries in an international setting. She stayed, finished her last two years, and now is pursuing a dance career in New York City. And she’s grateful that others cared so much. “I just felt so humbled by the experience, because I had given up,” Van Dyke said. “I just felt surrounded by people that really loved missionary kids.” “It was just awesome, because I think that the last two years at Hope were two of the best years of my life,” she said. Senior Josh Roth this year became the scholarship’s second recipient. He grew up in central Mexico, where his parents have served as missionaries for more than 20 years. He enrolled in Hope sight-unseen, first made aware of the college by family friends who were alumni. “I saw the home page,” he said. “I just remember the admissions people being very polite, and being very friendly and inviting in my correspondence with them. That was very important when it came time for my decision.” Hope has lived up to the promising introduction. “My experience has been great,” said Roth, who plans to go into teaching. “I’ve met a lot of people who have supported me along the way, and have come to appreciate Holland and the beauty of the place.” Roth, too, is grateful for the gift aid that has enabled him to attend Hope. “It’s been a huge part,” Roth said. “Had we not seen some of that financial aid, it would The new “Scholarship for Children of missionaries” established through A Greater Hope provides support for students whose parents are long-term missionaries in an international setting. even as they benefit from the Hope experience, such students enhance have been impossible for me to be here.” Service in the foreign mission field has a long history within the Hope alumni family itself, reaching to the college’s earliest days. As noted by Dr. Elton Bruins ’50 in his essay, “Scholarship in the Service of Missions,” Senior Josh roth, raised in central mexico, where his parents have served for more than 20 years, enrolled at Hope sight-unseen, made aware of the college by family friends who were alumni. He’s preparing for a career in education. The endowed “Scholarship for Children of Missionaries” brings together two major foci of A Greater Hope . First, it supports the campaign’s emphasis on increasing gift-based financial aid to make Hope more accessible to students regardless of need. No less, though, it reflects the priority of building a diverse campus community to better prepare students to understand and succeed in the interconnected global community in which they will live and work after graduation. 12 News News From From Hope Hope College College

Impact on many Levels

Senior Josh Roth

<br /> The impact of a gift to Hope doesn’t get any more meaningful, personal and immediate than this.<br /> <br /> Mikella Bryant ’12 Van Dyke had thrived during her first two years at Hope, which had emerged as the perfect choice during her college search. “I was looking around for Christian schools that also have a dance program. Hope is one of the only ones,” she said.<br /> <br /> She valued her academic program, majoring in communication and dance, but there was more than that. She had grown up as a “third-culture kid,” the daughter of missionaries working in Thailand to translate the Bible for the Karenni people. After attending five high schools, abroad as well as in the States, she also found a sense of belonging.<br /> <br /> “Except for the winter, I think everything else was just a good fit for me,” Van Dyke said. “I think that Hope helps with that transition because it’s a nurturing environment.”<br /> <br /> As she finished her sophomore year, though, finances became a challenge and she faced the prospect of leaving. She had even said her goodbyes, but then a true blessing happened: she became the first recipient of the college’s new “Scholarship for Children of Missionaries,” developed as part of the A Greater Hope comprehensive campaign to meet the financial need of students whose parents are long-term missionaries in an international setting.<br /> <br /> She stayed, finished her last two years, and now is pursuing a dance career in New York City.<br /> <br /> And she’s grateful that others cared so much.<br /> “I just felt so humbled by the experience, because I had given up,” Van Dyke said. “I just felt surrounded by people that really loved missionary kids.”<br /> <br /> “It was just awesome, because I think that the last two years at Hope were two of the best years of my life,” she said.<br /> <br /> Senior Josh Roth this year became the scholarship’s second recipient. He grew up in central Mexico, where his parents have served as missionaries for more than 20 years. He enrolled in Hope sight-unseen, first made aware of the college by family friends who were alumni.<br /> <br /> “I saw the home page,” he said. “I just remember the admissions people being very polite, and being very friendly and inviting in my correspondence with them. That was very important when it came time for my decision.”<br /> <br /> Hope has lived up to the promising introduction. “My experience has been great,” said Roth, who plans to go into teaching. “I’ve met a lot of people who have supported me along the way, and have come to appreciate Holland and the beauty of the place.”<br /> <br /> Roth, too, is grateful for the gift aid that has enabled him to attend Hope.<br /> <br /> “It’s been a huge part,” Roth said. “Had we not seen some of that financial aid, it would have been impossible for me to be here.”<br /> <br /> Service in the foreign mission field has a long history within the Hope alumni family itself, reaching to the college’s earliest days. As noted by Dr. Elton Bruins ’50 in his essay, “Scholarship in the Service of Missions,” published in the 1985 book Into All The World: Hope College and International Affairs, the first Hope graduate to go into foreign mission work was Enne Heeren of the Class of 1867. Of the seven members of the Class of 1887, four went into foreign mission work.<br /> <br /> The tradition continues through to the present, with alumni serving in mission around the world, often in response to a call born of their time at Hope. It’s a hard irony that their commitment to their faith can put the same education out of the reach of their own children.<br /> <br /> The endowed “Scholarship for Children of Missionaries” brings together two major foci of A Greater Hope. First, it supports the campaign’s emphasis on increasing gift-based financial aid to make Hope more accessible to students regardless of need. No less, though, it reflects the priority of building a diverse campus community to better prepare students to understand and succeed in the interconnected global community in which they will live and work after graduation.<br /> <br /> The scholarship was established by Dr. Vern ’64 and Carla Vande Bunte ’65 Sterk, and by Dr. Ron and Sherrie Wolthuis. Now retired, the Sterks spent 40 years serving in Chiapas, Mexico, working with the Tzotzil Mayans. Ron retired from the Hope education faculty in 2002; in the years since, he and Sherrie have been active in mission work, inspired by their children who serve as missionaries overseas.<br /> <br /> Both couples understand well the challenges that face missionary families seeking to finance a college education. Many are struggling simply to fund their ministry. Living stipends are usually low, travel costs are high, and access to financial aid options and information is limited.<br /> <br /> For example, Ron and Sherrie were most recently abroad in January, connecting with several missionary families in Cambodia. “They hardly even dare dream that their sons and daughters will be able to attend a school like Hope,” Ron said.<br /> <br /> “We want to at least put Hope on a level playing field with other institutions, because we love Hope and know that Hope has a lot to offer,” Vern said.<br /> <br /> As much as the Sterks and Wolthuises are touched by the needs of missionary families, they are motivated, too, by what the students bring to Hope.<br /> <br /> “We want missionary kids to be able to attend Hope College, but we also see that Hope College will be richer for it,” Vern said.<br /> <br /> “You have kids who have an understanding of world Christianity—they’ve lived it,” Ron said. “And they bring a global perspective to campus.”<br /> <br /> The goal now is to increase the scholarship’s endowment so that it can provide even more support, and so that it can help even more students at once.<br /> <br /> Dr. George Kraft, professor emeritus of kinesiology, is among those who have already responded to the call to help build the scholarship. He relates not only as a long-time Hope educator, but as a former missionary kid; he grew up in China, where his parents served in Kangding near the Tibetan border. He learned of the scholarship at an opportune time: this past summer, just as he was enjoying the first chance since he had left in 1951 to return and see where his parents had served in Kangding and the boarding schools he had attended in Shanghai and Kuling.<br /> <br /> His family wasn’t able to fund his college education, but he was able to work his way through his undergraduate years at Wheaton College with a summer construction job and service as an R.A. He knows that isn’t enough today.<br /> <br /> “College is much more expensive than it was when I was at Wheaton (1958-1962),” he said. “Missionary kids don’t come from wealthy families, and I think I have a heart for families with need.”<br /> <br /> And he, too, appreciates, the broader perspective that such students contribute.<br /> <br /> “Missionary kids bring a global perspective to any campus, and I feel this perspective is especially relevant and important on a Christian liberal arts campus like Hope and my alma mater,” he said.<br /> <br /> In fact, third-culture students like missionary students contribute a perspective like no other, bringing not only insight gained from experience with other cultures but also insight gained from growing up with a foot in two worlds—or even, although it stretches the analogy—in multiple worlds.<br /> <br /> “Third-culture kids are often the bridge between U.S. culture and the global community,” said Amy Otis-De Grau ’96, director of international education at Hope. “That’s just talking about U.S. kids who were raised overseas. Hope also has a slew of international students who grew up in other countries.”<br /> <br /> “They bring a very unique perspective to campus,” she said. “They’re fantastic students who connect with all kinds of students and people of a variety of backgrounds.”<br /> <br /> “It certainly fits into our mission of providing an environment in which students can experience a global society,” she said. “International students, students of color, missionary kids and other third-culture kids, students from out of state as well as students from Michigan, and our students returning from study-abroad—everyone’s a part of it. It’s all part of building a global community.”<br /> <br /> The endowed “Scholarship for Children of Missionaries” brings together two major foci of A Greater Hope. First, it supports the campaign’s emphasis on increasing gift-based financial aid to make Hope more accessible to students regardless of need. No less, though, it reflects the priority of building a diverse campus community to better prepare students to understand and succeed in the interconnected global community in which they will live and work after graduation.

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