Below is a post by Cathy Callans, NW Regional Board Member, about the pequeños in the Seattle Leadership Institute/iLEAP programs and the joy she finds in being a part of the NPH USA family!
The NPH Seattle Leadership Institute program and the iLEAP program, both here in Seattle, have provided the Northwest Region with a gift that keeps on giving. Each year 6 pequeños, usually university students, spend a year here in Seattle, living with host families, working on English skills, self awareness/growth and leadership in the hopes of returning to their countries to become future leaders within the NPH organization. Another 10-12 pequeños/employees attend a month-long iLEAP leadership program here at different points throughout the year.
These programs provide our Northwest NPH community with a unique opportunity to have these students and employees share the impact of our programs as ambassadors for NPH.
One such opportunity came up in January when I invited 6 close friends to attend a dinner at my home. This dinner was prepared by the leadership students, with ethnic foods native to their countries. The students wore celebratory clothing from their home countries and welcomed each guest. Throughout the evening there were ample opportunities for them to share their stories and experiences with NPH with the guests, making it a memorable evening for all. I truly believe there is no better way to connect with this organization than by taking a trip to one of the NPH homes, or by interacting directly with the pequeños. It was an evening every single one of my friends will never forget. And as a result, NPH will hold a special place in their hearts forever.
They showed their gratitude by giving generous donations to support NPH and the Leadership program, so it was a successful event that was a win win win for everyone, my guests, the pequeños, and NPH.
I encourage everyone to work to find unique ways to connect family, friends and colleagues with NPH pequeños and employees directly whenever the opportunity presents itself!