I’ve always had an affinity for working with disenfranchised women and children since working in Spanish Harlem at the start of my career. The empowerment of women through education is one of my passions. I had many Spanish speaking-only women as my patients, which contributed to my love and pursuit of the Spanish language.
I felt so strongly after we had our two daughters, that my mission was to adopt a little boy. I heard God’s encouragement throughout this process. Our path led us to Guatemala and to our son, Jack Armando Ernstrom. I fell in love with him and the Mayan people – some of the poorest people in the Western Hemisphere.
When Bill and I heard about the charity, Starfish, from its founders, Connie and Ted Ning, I knew this was a way for me to give back to Guatemala. Starfish provides both education scholarships and mentors to the indigenous girls of Guatemala. Most poor families only educate their sons beyond 6th grade, if at all. Most indigenous girls are left behind. When these young women in extreme poverty are empowered through education and role modeling, they delay their marriages beyond age 15 and have fewer children (many come from families of 5-10 children). When a woman is educated, the health of the family and community improve. The need to relinquish a child decreases as their economic status increases. Families stay together … and that is a good thing!
Compassion, Healing Touch, Leadership, Connection/Connecting, Authenticity, Service
As a compassionate woman following Jesus, I create a world of connection and healing … by stepping through fear, sharing vulnerability, and serving others.
I feel called to help women and children. My career as a nurse-midwife and nurse consultant has provided me with the opportunity to serve in that way. I also feel that as a follower of Christ, I am called to help those in need both locally (at Faith and into my community) and globally. It can truly have a ripple effect. In Guatemala I can make a difference through financial scholarships and developing lasting relationships with women. I can make a difference in their world, so they can make a difference in their world.
How You Can Help Me
The girls in Starfish school are very poor and many have difficulty purchasing supplies.I love bringing school and art supplies, such as flash drives, pens, colored pencils,etc. with me as I travel to visit them. I have also brought leftover Kids Camp T-shirts for the girls to share with family members. You can help me by providing some of those items for my next trip.
How I Can Help You