Magazine article Phi Kappa Phi Forum

Nurturing Heart

Magazine article Phi Kappa Phi Forum

Nurturing Heart

Article excerpt

To Jeanie Pham, believing in outreach means reaching out as far as possible.

That's why the senior community development major at Portland State University applied for and won a 2014 Study Abroad Grant from Phi Kappa Phi.

Pham used the funding to help underwrite enrollment in courses on community engagement and on poverty and development at University of Cape Town in South Africa last summer.

"It was the perfect fit to analyze a developing and progressive country such as South Africa," Pham said in an email interview. "I wanted to interact with the community and work with nonprofits/NGOs."

In addition to taking classes, Pham volunteered at the Ark City of Refuge. The shelter assists homeless people whose lives have been affected by domestic violence, drug and alcohol addiction and poverty.

Pham is a first-generation Vietnamese-American from Salem, Ore. Her parents, who work at a frozen foods factory, emigrated from Vietnam in the late 1980s and became naturalized Americans. Her older sister is a nurse in Bellevue, Wash., and completing her nursing degree at University of Washington. Her younger brother is a sophomore business major at University of Oregon.

Pham's experiences at home laid the groundwork for her personal growth abroad, in what marked her first international trip. She has conducted fundraising and database work with Rose Community Development, a nonprofit that supports low-income communities in southeast Portland. She also is involved with the Student Leaders for Service Members program at her school and the campus diversity scholars peer mentor program. …

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