Our New “Favorite” Intern

Written by Plant With Purpose on September 18, 2012 in General

Today we welcome Natalie Favorite, one of our new Development Department Interns for the fall quarter. She comes to us with a lot of passion for our work and a heart for serving others especially those in Southeast Asia.   

My name is Natalie Favorite and I am currently a Development Intern here at Plant With Purpose. I recently graduated from UCSD, where I got my BA in Psychology with a focus on child development and mental disorders, but also studied community development and Spanish. I have an interest in nonprofit organizations after having worked with impoverished communities both locally in Southern California and abroad in Southeast Asia.

I first heard about Plant With Purpose from my church, Coast Vineyard, where there are active Plant With Purpose members in our community. I learned more from talking with a former intern, and gained an interest in the organization. I am passionate about community transformation and relationship restoration, which drew me to Plant With Purpose.

My interest in working with impoverished communities came when I was reading the book of Jeremiah during my time with Youth With A Mission in Kona, Hawaii. I read Jeremiah 22:16, “’He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?’ declares the Lord,” and was struck with a concern to care for the underserved and impoverished communities. I started to learn about the needs of my local community, and loved getting to know an overlooked population in San Diego—the homeless. This led me to working with the nonprofit organization Dreams for Change, which provides legal services and a safe parking lot for the population in San Diego that lives in their cars. I found LIFE in getting to know these people, particularly in building relationships with families. The needs of my campus became apparent, so I served with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship on the Prayer Team, praying for the campus as well as focusing on relationship development and outreach within the university.

I also began looking for opportunities to get to know populations abroad, particularly in Southeast Asia. I developed a heart and passion for communities in Thailand and Myanmar throughout college, and was eager to serve the people there. In June 2012, I went to Bangkok, Thailand for six weeks to work with the urban underserved. I lived in a slum community with a large family, where I taught English and math in four different schools, worked with children in the local slum community in southeast Bangkok, as well as with children who worked in a popular red light district in the center of Bangkok. As I was in Bangkok, I realized my passion to work long-term with the poorest of the poor, hoping to use my Marriage and Family Therapy license to work with populations affected by poverty.

I am excited to join the Plant With Purpose team this quarter! I love the passion within the organization, as well as the vision and mission of Plant With Purpose-community transformation in an environmental, economic, and spiritual level. My experience in working personally with impoverished communities has caused me to want to learn how to help in as many ways as possible, whether that is working with individuals on a personal level, developing programs to increase economic empowerment, or bolstering support and relations within organizations that focus on reversing the cycle of poverty. I look forward to getting to know more about the practicalities of creating systems that pull communities out of poverty as well as working with a team of people who are passionate about loving their neighbors.

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