A native of Minnesota, Chelsie Frank worked and served at UCBC for four years, helping establish the service learning program at UCBC. Service-Learning connects classroom instruction to community realities and is an important aspect of UCBC’s triadic-training model. The academic program enriches students educational experience by creating opportunities for them use knowledge gained in the classroom to serve others, find solutions to problems in their community, and develop their leadership skills. She first learned about Congo Initiative and UCBC through her church and one of CI’s long-time partners, Christ Presbyterian Church in Edina, MN.
Please share an inspiring story or experience from your time with UCBC?
Chelsie: During my time teaching at UCBC, my students reflected on Congo’s history and reputation of being burdened with corruption. I was grieved over the reflections of my female students; the prevalence of sexual abuse and harrassment across educational institutions. For one of the preparatory English courses I taught, a student wrote this poem:
However, I was inspired by one of our female students, Ruth, studying the Applied Sciences department. She was one of 3 female students enrolled in this major at UCBC: she beamed with courage, kindness, and strength. She told me that she chose UCBC because of it’s integrity. Ruth came to UCBC because their was a higher moral standard than most universities. She was confident that she wouldn’t have to pay a bribes to get a paper graded, be confronted with sexual abuse, or be asked to turn a blind-eye if students were cheating. At UCBC Ruth had the opportunity to exercise her intellect, stretch her faith, and grow as a leader. She was a leader in UCBC’s student government, participated in women’s sports, and was an intern in the Service-Learning department.
As an International Staff member, how did UCBC transform you?
Chelsie: Congo left a mark on me. I’m forever changed and it’s difficult to numerate or prioritize what to share. However, Ruth’s experience is unforgettable because if I entertain the question, “where would she be without UCBC?” it brings me to tears. ‘Condemned to be a girl’ would be her reality. Bribes, sexual exploitation, and corruption would stand in her way. She wouldn’t have the option to become an engineer, mathematician, or scientist. Congo needs her courage, integrity, and intellect. Studying at UCBC allowed her to flourish into the woman God created her to be.
What inspired you to become a donor to UCBC?
Chelsie: I’m supporting UCBC because I’ve seen it make a difference in the lives of young Congolese leaders. I truly believe these students will transform Congo. I am thrilled to be giving to the NEXT 500 campaign and encourage you to make a contribution on behalf of young women and men like Ruth, ready and able to transform their communities and country. What a joy to be part of this miracle!
Chelsie now lives in Seattle, WA and works for World Vision USA as manager of the Speakers Bureau.