Editor's Note: As a continuation of our Staff Spotlights, we would like to introduce our supporters to a new member in the U.S. Office! Katelyn Jackson worked in our office last Fall as an intern while she was finishing her Bachelor's Degree at Oral Roberts University here in Tulsa. After months of impressive work, JBFC offered Katelyn a position as a Development Assistant in our office. She has been working as an official member of our team since January!
From a young age, I’ve been fascinated by different cultures and helping others. I remember in the 1st grade standing up in front of the class on Career Day saying I wanted to be a missionary in a foreign country. That passion to help others stayed with me, but as I grew older I wanted to make a difference in a more practical and lasting way. Who knew that my journey would start in Tulsa, OK.
I grew up in northern Alabama, and in the Fall of 2013, I set out to attend Oral Roberts University though still not knowing exactly what to major in. During that first semester, I discovered that there was a major called International Community Development (ICD). The next semester I enrolled in a couple of classes required for the ICD major, and I fell in love. I had a feeling of peace knowing that I was walking in my purpose, that this is what I am supposed to do.
Fast forward to the Summer of 2016, when I first found out about JBFC. I was looking for an internship for my last semester at ORU. As I was browsing ORU’s career service website, JBFC came up. The more I read, the more it was like a dream come true. It’s rare to find an international organization that has headquarters in Tulsa. That Fall, I applied for the internship and thankfully was accepted. I was able to help the staff with sending thank you post cards and preparing for the Trunk Show by counting and pricing inventory.
Katelyn teaching a group of local Girl Scouts about JBFC last Fall.
I was ecstatic when the position for a Development Assistant at JBFC became available. Intertwined with the excitement was that peace of this is where I am supposed to be. This is where I belong.
Now my days are filled with data entry, thank you letters, creating videos, and helping around the office in any way I can. What I enjoy the most about working with JBFC is the teamwork. Every day I get to see how each staff members’ talents and ideas come together to create something wonderful. And it's all for an amazing cause to help girls have a place to call home, to help children receive a quality education, to help villages have their medical and agricultural needs met, all to ultimately break the cycle of poverty that has crippled families for too long. And yet at the same time I’m learning so much. The lessons and classes I completed at ORU are coming to life. These things I’m learning while at JBFC are knowledge and wisdom that I can take with me for the rest of my life. It’s molding me into the best I can be and developing my character as well with the challenges it brings. From pushing back the fear of failure to step out of my comfort zone and complete tasks I’ve never done before, to the patience it takes to be in the US and only hear and see from pictures and videos all the work being accomplished in Tanzania. I look forward to that day of going to Tanzania like a child awaits his or her birthday. But right now I couldn’t ask to be in any other better place in my life. I’ve been blessed with this opportunity and I strive to make the most of it.