Meet Our Team

Susan Van Bromkhorst

Susan Van Bromkhorst

ESL teacher, Spanish teacher

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

Jackie Osegueda

Jackie Osegueda

Family Worker

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.

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

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

 

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.

 

Meghan Deckinga

Meghan Deckinga

ESL Teacher

My name is Meghan Deckinga. I am originally from Illinois, but I moved to Grand Rapids for college. I graduated from Calvin College in 2017 with a double major in social work and Spanish. I was first introduced to Roosevelt Park Ministries by my best friends, and they shared with me the incredible opportunity to volunteer with RPM. This organization does amazing community work, and it is a blessing to be able to support their mission. I am excited to spend time getting to know the students, staff, and volunteers at RPM as we help each other develop language skills.

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.

 

Natalie Haddad

Natalie Haddad

ESL Teacher

My name is Natalie Haddad and I was born and raised in southern Spain. I am currently a Senior at Calvin College and will be graduating this upcoming May 2019. Post-graduation, I’m interested in working with non-profit organizations helping improve the lives of people of all different backgroundsAs a Family Worker at RPM, I am learning and gaining these skills working with people in the community and serving them with their most basic needs.

Blanca Perez-Chao

Blanca Perez-Chao

ESL 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.

Ana Ramos

Ana Ramos

ESL Teacher

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!
Nate Roles

Nate Roles

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 fiancée, Ana, who will be marrying in June! We both have been involved with Roosevelt Park Ministries in the past, and are excited to be teaching another class this semester together.

Caleb McCoy

Caleb McCoy

ESL Teacher

Hi! My name is Caleb McCoy. I feel like a teacher and student at RPM. I have experience teaching English and tutoring many kinds of people: adults, college students, and elementary students. I have even taught English in Spain and Turkey. However, every time I volunteer, I learn ways to become a better teacher and hone my Spanish skills. I volunteer at Roosevelt Park Ministries because I believe it’s important to give back to our communities and care for our neighbors.

What to be part of our team?

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