Meet Our Team

Jacky  Osegueda

Jacky Osegueda

Interim Director

Where are you from?

El Salvador

When did you first get involved at RPM?

I was waiting in the waiting area for the evening yoga class. The class had been cancelled, and Steve came and talked to me  for a while and talked to me about volunteer opportunities. He asked me if I would be interested in office work and I told Steve that I used to work in the past for a German non-profit organization and various other charities. So it sounded interesting to me when Steve suggested that I volunteer here as his Executive Assistant. And then I began serving in other capacities here as well.

Why do you love RPM? What do you want people to know about RPM?

I love that the work I do not only helps those I immediately serve, but could actually impact social change. The possibilities are so great at a nonprofit and I love having the opportunity to impact the future.

-Every day is a surprise, there is not a normal day here. One day you may be helping out with fundraising and administration and the next day you may be doing something totally different. You learn to wear many hats. Humility is the the key ingredient and the ability to be without pride or arrogance and it is a main character that should be seen in those who decide to serve others. 

What do you like to do when you are not at work?

Since I have been involved as Instructor for Budgeting Classes I like to stay up to date regarding ways to improve one’s credit, savings and finances. And I try to spend time with my loved ones. I love to stay connected by phone and by social media with my family who lives in ES, Uruguay and Switzerland. 

Fun Fact

I’m terrified of snakes

 

Ana Ramos

Ana Ramos

Family Worker

Hola! My name is Ana Ramos. I am a daughter of immigrants, a first generation college grad, a social worker and most importantly, a Christian. I chose to volunteer at RPM because I attended a graduation last year and it brought me so much joy to see all the graduates receive their certificates. I understand the importance and the difficulty of immigrants learning English and I am so excited to get to know my class better and help them grow in their English skills. I am happy to join RPM in their mission of reaching those in their community!

Volunteers

Bill Van Tol

Bill Van Tol

ESL Teacher

Where are you from?

Live in Wyoming.  Spent 41 years teaching overseas, last 10  before retirement (1997 to 2007) in Mexico City

When did you first get involved at RPM?

2012

Why do you love RPM? What do you want people to know about RPM?

I love the Latino community and want to help them integrate them into life here.  RPM is good at this.

What do you like to do when you are not at work?

I volunteer for numerous organization.  And I love to golf

Fun Fact

I have visited over 50 countries.

What is your favorite vegetable and/or snack from Steve?

I love Alambre, a Mexico City specialty. Check Wikipedia if you do not know.

Manuel Lara

Manuel Lara

ESL Teacher

I am Manuel Lara I been an ESL instructor since August of 2017. I feel that it’s been a great experience working as a volunteer at RPM. I was in El Salvador. I left my country at the beginning of the civil war in 1980.  Grand Rapids is been home since. I understand very well the cultural shock that my community goes through. I am ready to help all the students and the community at large.

 

Emily LaRue

Emily LaRue

ESL Teacher

My name is Emily, and I attend Calvin University where I amstudying English Secondary Education, Spanish, and ESL. I originally started volunteering as an ESL instructor at RPM for a class assignment. However, I stayed because I loved it. This place is filled with beautiful people who are wholeheartedly devoted to their work here. The staff is incredibly generous with their time and resources, going the extra mile with every single person who walks through these doors. They are inclusive and Christ-like in their actions and words, and it’s an honor to volunteer here.

As an ESL instructor, I have learned more from my students than I ever expected to. As we go through the class, I am improving my Spanish and learning how to be a better teacher. In the classroom, it often feels like the students are the teachers because they are constantly helping each other so that no one is left behind. Volunteering here has renewed my passion for teaching and has ignited an interest in teaching ESL in particular in the future.

My advice to potential donors or supporters of Roosevelt Park Ministries is to get involved. You will be missing out on so much if you don’t let your contribution extend beyond the checkbook. RPM is an amazing place with amazing people, and you would be lucky to be a part of the community here. And if you can’t give your money, then give your time or other resources because you will be supporting a compassionate and Christ-centered cause.

Ed Riekena

Ed Riekena

Tax Counselor

Where are you from?  
I am from Iowa, I lived there for 23 years.
When did you first get involved at RPM?
I started as a board member and have been a tax counselor since 2004.
Why do you love RPM? What do you want people to know about RPM?
We assist people who need our services. They are very appreciative!
What do you like to do when you are not at work?
Spend time with grandchildren. Assist missionaries in far-off countries. Travel.
Fun Fact
I was a teacher for 39 years and a coach for 20 years.
Dr. Dirk Vander Steen

Dr. Dirk Vander Steen

ESL Teacher

The life experience in missions abroad and at home in North America have equipped me for volunteer work at RPM. I was born in the Netherlands, emigrated with my parents to Canada( English is not my first language).
In 1960 I came to the USA to attend to Calvin College. After graduation in 1964 my wife Jean whom I married in 1963 and I went to Nigeria, west Africa as missionary teachers. We have three daughters born in Africa now married with two children each. Together we have promoted the development of a Christian university in Nigeria. I served as a trustee for the last ten years I am eager to serve as a supporter and helper to civic and church related projects. We feel blessed that we can be a blessing  to others.

 

Blanca Perez-Chao

Blanca Perez-Chao

SSL Teacher

Hello, my name  is Blanca Perez-Chao. I’m from Spain, married, and have two children. I studied electric engineering and I’ve been living in Grand Rapids for a few years because of my husband’s work. I worked as a teacher in Spain for 20 years and teaching is something that I really like to do. Being here made me ask myself: Why not teach Spanish? It would be a good opportunity to help people, meet people, and practice English. So here I am, at Roosevelt Park Ministries, as a volunteer. I think that if you want to learn Spanish, you have the chance to do it here at Roosevelt Park Ministries. At the moment, there is only one class on Tuesdays from 5:30 pm -7:00 pm, but if there are enough people interested, there is a possibility of adding additional classes.

Susan Van Bromkhorst

Susan Van Bromkhorst

ESL Tutor

Where are you from?

Grand Rapids

When did you first get involved at RPM?

June 2014

Why do you love RPM? What do you want people to know about RPM?

There is something at RPM for everyone in the neighborhood.

What do you like to do when you are not at work?

I like to sing

Fun Fact

I discovered I could sleep without a pillow

What is your favorite vegetable and/or snack from Steve?

Tomatoes 

 

 

Nate Roels

Nate Roels

ESL Teacher

My name is Nate Roels, and I am from Grand Rapids, Michigan. I graduated from Calvin College in 2017 with a degree in Digital Filmmaking and minors in Spanish and Business. Currently I run my own video production company, Second Mile Video, where I do videos mostly for non profits and ministries. My faith is very important to me, and I attend Iglesia Alas de Aguila in Holland, Michigan with my wife, Ana, who I married in June of 2019! We are excited to be involved with Roosevelt Park Ministries together.

Rachel Kishman

Rachel Kishman

Marketing Assistant

My name is Rachel (and this is my dog, Mack!), and I am from Marne, Michigan. I graduated from GVSU in 2018 with a degree in Writing and a minor in Spanish. I have been a volunteer at RPM since September of 2018, first as a family worker intern, then ESL teacher, and now I help with marketing tasks like updating the website, creating newsletters, and using a little artistiness to update our signs. I’m currently working at an office for my day job, but will be leaving in May to serve in the Peace Corps in Paraguay. I’m thankful I am able to utilize my skills here in a variety of ways, but even more so, RPM has helped me continue honing my Spanish and has given me great experiences through connections to wonderful people in the community.

James

James

ESL Teacher

My name is James, I’m a graduate student at GVSU and look forward to assisting at RPM this semester! I’m currently learning Spanish and hope to improve while helping others learn a second language as well. It’s my belief that west Michigan should feel like home for everyone, and knowing English opens up a world of new opportunities. 

What to be part of our team?

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