The Hightower and Kloos Legacy Fund – Past Recipients
Kristine served as a Speech Language Pathologist at NPH/NPFS Haiti.
My time at NPH Haiti was definitely the best time of my life. After serving at NPH Haiti for 2 years, I have been working as a bilingual speech language pathologist. I love being able to use the language skills I acquired during my time in Haiti here in the U.S. I married my husband Billy in 2014 and we just welcomed our second daughter in June 2017. For the past year I have been working with other American speech-language pathologists to create a distance learning program for staff members I trained during my time in Haiti. I hope this will allow me to continue to be involved in NPH Haiti even though my family and I are living in the U.S.
Dan served as a Surgery Center Coordinator at St. Luke Foundation in Haiti.
I am pursuing a career as an anesthesiologist, and completed my residency in the department of anesthesiology and critical care medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. My experience in Haiti guided me to this specialty. I am applying right now for an extra year of sub-specialization in pediatric anesthesia. With these skills I hope to eventually be able to return to NPH/NPFS in some capacity to assist again with their surgical programs. In June 2017 I married my wife Claire.
Avriel served as a Communication Officer at NPH/NPFS Haiti.
I have stay involved with NPH and now work for NPHI in the Family Service Team. I manage the volunteer program, work with development groups on site and I also work specifically in Family Services in Haiti. I travel to all of the homes throughout the year and it is always so special to return to Haiti.
Amber served as an assistant with the special needs program at the main NPH/NPFS home, St. Helene, in Kenscoff.
Since my time in Haiti, I have been teaching and coaching at a middle school in Austin, TX. I currently teach a class called world cultures and absolutely love sharing my perspective with the students and my experiences from other countries (including Haiti). During the past few summers I have had the opportunity to visit St. Helene and the teenagers my parents sponsor as well as my own godson. It is a blessing to keep up the relationships and see the amazing work that NPH continues to do.
Shana Van Valkenburg
Shana served as a Communications Officer at NPH/NPFS Haiti.
Since returning from Haiti, I tried a few different nonprofit positions working with a group teaching elementary school children about urban farming, database development for a church’s capital campaign and as coordinator for New York’s largest family shelter provider running corporate, donor and community volunteer events with shelter clients, as well as managing the in-kind donations facility. The summer of 2017 has seen a few changes as I started a position in Corporate Engagement at United Way of New York City and I began to pursue my masters in Non Profit Leadership at Fordham University. I am excited about these two opportunities and what the year to come will bring.
Katie served in the NICU at NPH’s St. Damien Pediatric Hospital
I am back at work in the NICU at the University of MN Masonic Children’s Hospital, where I briefly worked before I went to Haiti. We have over 60 NICU beds and it’s a fantastic unit with a great team, so a big privilege to work there. I am actually talking to one of the doctors now about a possible trip to Tanzania to work in a NICU that a former colleague set up there…it actually sounds similar to the NICU at St. Damien’s.As for NPH, I’m so fortunate to have the Upper Midwest office here! I serve on the Associate Board and last year I got to chair the silent auction for the gala and it was an absolute blast. I think I will be reprising that role in some form coming up shortly. To be honest, almost all of the good friends I’ve made since moving to MN are people I’ve met through NPH…it remains a huge part of my life. My time in Haiti was definitely life-changing, and I also appreciate the opportunity to honor Ryan and Molly and pay tribute to their memories.
Maggie served as a Vocational Trainer at NPH Guatemala
Originally from Arlington Heights, IL, Maggie worked with the special needs children in the Vocational Workshops. She aspires to become a medical profession, either as a doctor, or possibly an occupational therapist. While she was learning Spanish quickly at NPH, she use the award to attend additional language school on her weekends off so she could better communicate with the pequeños, caretakers, and other staff and do an even better job at NPH Guatemala.
Joey served as a Photographer and Caregiver at NPH Mexico from July 2016 through July 2018
Originally from Chicago, IL, Joey is a gifted photographer and visual story teller, and used part of the award for insurance to protect his camera equipment. The remainder of the award was used for a safety project to update the keys and locks at NPH Mexico.
Molly served as the Women’s Empowerment Coordinator (Chicas Poderosas) at NPH Guatemala from July 2018 through July 2019
Originally from St. Louis, MO, Molly just started law school in Washington, DC, at American University Washington College of Law as a Public Interest/Public Service Scholar. She’s excited to see how what she learned at NPH and the relationships she cultivated will affect her future career. She wants to work in international human rights law or policy, specifically against sexual or gender-based violence.
Bridget began serving as a caregiver (or tia) in the special needs home at NPH Guatemala in July 2018
Bridget transitioned to a new role in December 2018 and for that reason, she decided to extend her service at NPH Guatemala by another 6 months. It was important for her to get to spend a complete year in her new position as the Vocational Trainer. Bridget loves working with the teens and adults with disabilities here at NPH Guatemala, and she continues to dedicate her time to Sagrado Corazon, her hogar, and the adults who live there. Being awarded the Hightower Kloos Legacy Fund helped Bridget be able to commit to spending another 6 months in Guatemala, and for that, she is very grateful.
Sophie was a volunteer at NPH Honduras from July 2019 until March 2020
Sophie graduated as a nurse from the University of Portland and loves to improve the quality of lives through healthcare. She is compassionate and has a strong passion to help heal people physically, mentally, and spiritually. She used the funds she received from the Hightower/Kloos Legacy Fund to help improve the quality of life for the children of NPH Honduras who have special needs. Sophie used the funds to purchase items such as toys and equipment and constructed a little shop/concession stand that gave the boys with disabilities a chance to learn new job skills and earn money. Unfortunately, the pandemic created new restrictions for the more vulnerable children at the Ranch, so the little shop is now being operated by the older pequeños on the Ranch. The money from the Hightower and Kloos families is helping many pequeños on the Ranch, and a tiny legacy was created, which Sophie believes fulfills the goal of the scholarship – to carry on the memory of those who were lost in Haiti.
Katie was a volunteer at NPH Bolivia from July 2018 until November 2019
Katie is from Chicago, Illinois, and is a graduate of Notre Dame. She served the NPH Bolivia home by teaching English and Music in the primary school, giving individual piano lessons to the kids in the afternoon, and organizing a choir that sings every Sunday at mass. She was also in charge of a “Chicas Poderosas” group, which means that she led a group of 16- to 18-year old girls once a week in a female youth empowerment class. Katie used the Hightower/Kloos Legacy funds allocated to her for a myriad of small, but necessary purchases, such as headphones for the keyboards, uniforms for the kids who participate in choir, materials for the Chicas Poderosas program, and to fill every classroom at the school with basic school supplies. These purchases have improved the kids’ lives in both school and after-school activities, leading to a more well-rounded education.