|Serving missionary students needing academic support at the|
Black Forest Academy.
‘Do you know someone who has struggled in school?
Did you struggle in school?
Were you the teacher, parent, sibling, or friend of someone who struggled in school?
Was there support to help them succeed, and did they receive the support in time?
For students living overseas, their parents often have to leave their mission work to move so their child can receive the support they need if a qualified staff person or program is not available.
Since college, God has put on my heart the desire to support students of all abilities with a passion for struggling students based on my own story. Growing up we moved a lot between states and countries as my dad served in the military. These constant moves between education systems created gaps in my learning. Because I was not a problem student and not getting “Fs” on my report cards, I was not flagged by my junior high and high school teachers even after I mentioned to high school counselors and teachers that I thought something was wrong. Second semester of my freshman year of college, a professor reached out to offer me support and taught me that there was someone in the student services department who could guide me. A month later I was diagnosed with a learning disability (LD). It was a blessing to know why I struggled and to be given the skills to succeed. My grades improved 90% in 2 months and I was on the dean’s list every semester afterwards. I have never felt this was a burden or another scar, but rather a blessing. My LD journey has enhanced my love for teaching by guiding my passion for struggling students so they never have to go through what I did.
Over 20 years ago, I learned about the Black Forest Academy (BFA) in Kandern, Germany. In 2001, I ventured off to BFA to take my level one training to become an educational therapist through the NILD (National Institute for Learning Disabilities- NILD.org) program. It was God’s leading that I first heard about NILD and BFA through missionaries. After those two weeks of intensive graduate training, I had originally returned home to begin the process to return to BFA as I instantly fell in love with the school, program, community, and city, But God had a different plan and I worked for four years at a school in Minnesota needing a coordinator and therapist for their NILD program.
The next four years I worked as a therapist and witnessed students succeeding in many ways through areas such as brain retraining and focusing on processing skills. All the areas used enhanced their skills academically, emotionally, and socially. Today, I am still in touch with some of those students and their families. I am humbled God chose me. If I had not followed His steps, those students would not have received the support they needed.
Now, BFA has an urgent need for a resource teacher and educational therapist starting August 2021. God called and I answered to faithfully follow His leading there. It is my heart’s passion to provide students the best education when needing academic support. They deserve the opportunity to receive the support so they can succeed. Attending BFA where a qualified teacher is present to support them also allows them to attend a Christian school and receive a great education with other students. I am putting together a ministry partnership team to walk beside me on this journey. Will you join me by faithfully praying and financially supporting me so students at BFA can receive the support they need?
Staff at BFA raise their own salary so missionary kids can have an education their parents otherwise could not afford. This allows their parents to continue the work God has called them to to further build the kingdom. When you partner with me, you are not only providing for me, but other missionaries and their kids. I am excited for this new journey.
My Website: Charis Footsteps