It is undeniable that Northwest Community College Initiative (NWCCI) students are wildly successful. They bring their talents to our campuses and make them better places. And a portion of their success can be contributed to the team of people who support them, set them up with community partners and help them set goals for their time in the United States.
Bebhinn Horrigan, Iris Anthony and Kim Kraft are a powerful advising team. They provide advice on cultural adjustment and academic success and they plan many, many activities that give participants opportunities to learn about the United States and share their own cultures. Below members of the 2013-14 cohort share some of the things they want to thank their advisors for. There is so much goodness here we’re going over our own word limit.
“It has been a wonderful time spent with you. You are a great leader. Keep inspiring people to do more for that what a leader is. I saw how great you are after I received my certificate so I want to use this opportunity to say thank you.” -Emmanuel Attipoe, Ghana
“Well, Iris was the first person I came to know here WCC and I really respect her. Besides, she taught me to manage my time. She is a professional lady and she wants to see her students be experts in their fields of study and work places. I am very impressed about her presentations and how she deals with all kinds of critical situations. I was lucky that I got her parents as my friendship family, so I also respect her as a family member. She always gives me courage to do things whenever I was stressed. I will miss her advice and ideas for me and for all students in this group. Finally, I am running of words to write more about Iris. I wish her a very beautiful new life with her husband. I am sure she will have a bright, successful and charming future.” –Adnan, Pakistan
“Thank you Kim, you were the best adviser any student can ask for. You listened to me and gave me valuable advice during our appointments. You made me feel like I had a friend and a mother that cares for me so much. You showed us the most beautiful places in Washington State and because of all your hard work we got to learn so much about American culture. Thank you Kim!” –Claudia Du Plessis, South Africa
“Bebhinn is awesome. She is one of the most patient advisers ever. It is very difficult to face 16 different characters from 7 different countries in one time for 10 months and she did it for last 4 years. Only a genius can do that. The best moment I ever had with Bebhinn was the trip to Theo’s Chocolate factory. She kept smiling and laughing that day, she looked so happy and we took many selfie pictures together. She has the most beautiful smile and laugh ever.” –Habibi, Indonesia
“Many times I would be in a front seat with Iris driving college van, and she would ask me if I can navigate for directions, and then I would say yes. I wanted to be in the front seat so that when I see something drawing my attention I would ask her immediately and she would answer right on the spot. I want to wholeheartedly say thanks to her for her patience, unending support and incredible insight. She can be tough she is tender, and she can be firm but she is fair. I always remember her always saying, “Try something new, be open-minded and don’t be afraid of a challenge just go for it, for it comes with a different experience”. I did several cultural presentations, rock climbing, zip-line and whole lot more because of her motivation and encouragement.” -Daniel Masenya, South Africa
“I would like to thank my adviser for seeing to it that I was taken care of in more than just being advised on academic related requirements. But also being taken care of in connection with my health and well-being. I thank her particularly for the day she went out of her way and took me to the emergency room when I did not feel well.”- Tshepo Sipho Mboni, South Africa
“Thank you Kim for everything. Even though I didn’t talk a lot to you doesn’t mean that I don’t care about you. Hope we will meet again someday. I will miss your email and message on FB :)” –Fransiska, Indonesia
“Hi Iris, Thank you very much for your support during my stay in the United State. You were always there to help in any circumstances. I will remember you as my hero throughout my life. I hope you will enjoy the next international group as well. Hope you will forgive us every mischievous things that we have done.” -Veipune Sarah, India
“Kim was like a sister and a mother to me. I will always remember her smiles and the advice she has given me. She treated me as equal as the others. I love you Kim! And I pray that you should continue to be kind and loving adviser always. God bless you!” -Rosemond Djan, Ghana
“Thank you so much Bebhinn for being so patient, and understanding with me. You were always there for me during thick and thin! You are the best advisor a student can ask for. You develop this bond with the student that lasts long, long after they have gone back, and that is something that is very highly appreciated. The things I will remember most vividly about you are your coffee mug, and your laugh, which is highly infectious.” -Huzefa Chikani, India
“I’m so ever lucky to have Iris as my advisor. She is so kind and thoughtful. She taught me so many good things. She is a role model on how to be an independent, organized, open-minded, and respectful person. Honestly I’m confused to choose one memory because all activities that I’ve done with her are my favorite, but the things that I won’t forget are how much she cared for me when I was ill and when I faced difficult situations. If there’s a word that can express more than ‘thank you’, that word is for Iris. :)” -Istyasmi Suminar, Indonesia
“Blessed, I am and we are, to be students of such a great woman. Kim, you radiate love, kindness, compassion, and professionalism from every part of you. During the year, I felt like Kim’s priority was how the students will have a wonderful experience in the USA, how the students will be empower by the CCI program and how the students will return to their countries with a life changing experience. In many occasions I have been deeply affected by Kim’s kindness, patience and generosity. She has always been available whenever we need her. She also introduced us to her family, her husband Jake, her lovely daughter Jaden, her mother Helen, her father and she consider us as her own family members. Thanks Kim.” -Yannick Assouman, Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
“Kim…what can I even attempt to tell you! You’re an amazing person, inside and out! I’m so grateful to have been able to meet you! Thank you for taking this job and being an awesome adviser! 🙂 If not for you, my American experience would have been empty, so, thank you for being a really important part in this journey of 10 months with me and making it worthwhile! I’ll miss you Kim! I just want to thank you for being a splendid person and making my time here memorable! I love you the way you are and hope you never change! You’re amazing the way you are!” -Amreen Mushtaq, Kashmir, India
“Kim, leadership, kindness, openness, and above all how to be a good human being; these are some of the things that I have learned from you over the period I have known you. Thank you for opening up your family to us to interact and learn from. An adviser and a friend, we got the best. God bless you!” -Antony Musau Kaloosya, Kenya
“Hey Bebhinn! I will miss you! I’d like you to know that I like you very much. You are the best advisor ever and the students that don’t recognize it, just don’t know how they are lucky. Thank you for everything! You are the best! <3” -Amanda Shimizu, Brazil
“Thank you for being such a wonderful adviser.” -Raju Pulivandlas, India
“Very understandable, supportive and encouraging adviser I have ever seen.” -Saleema Bano, Pakistan
“I will always remember her friendship and support.” –Sena, Turkey
“It was a good gift for me during my life in USA to have Kim as my supervisor. I know that she is too young to be my mother, but she did what a mother does. I think a word ‘friend’ is also a right way to describe her. I can describe Kim in a sentence; she is my supervisor, mother and friend.” -Danis Sriwijaya, Indonesia
“Thanks Bebhinn, for being all out for us! Of course If I get to choose my college and repeat the program from the beginning I will still absolutely stick with Pierce College :)” -Gunawan Setiadi, Indonesia.
“Thank you Bebhinn for being there the time when we need you. I am so happy to meet a wonderful person like you in my life who is so dedicated to the work she is doing in the same time also try to take care of the students in such a good way. I love you Bebhinn, I am going to miss you a lot in my life.” -Guduru Sadanand Ashwini, India
“Bebhinn you are the best adviser ever. I would like to thank you for everything.” -Ishtiaq Qureshi, Pakistan
“I want to thank her for being such an outstanding adviser. She has been with every NWCCI students in different aspects. She encouraged me and advised me not only in academic purposes, also in other different ways. She proved that she is a good and helpful adviser. When we were sad she personally called us and asked the reason. She asked us what she could do for us. I admire and praise her, which she really deserves. Thank you Kim. I strongly appreciate your teamwork and hard work. I will miss you.” –Hafeezur Rehman, Pakistan
“YES, I DO HAVE A MESSAGE. And I don’t think Bebhinn will like it. First of all, I would like to say that some things that she does make me sad. I’m sad when our bi-weekly meetings are done – we could have a 12 hour long meeting. I’m sad when she cannot make it to our parties – sometimes we feel like she could just live in one of the apartments to stay around. I’m sad when she is not in her office – is doesn’t feel right to go to the International Office and not seeing her there, it’s missing a piece. I’m pretty sure that it’s not only me, most of the students also get sad. We get sad by the fact that we won’t see that blondy/pink hair again. We get sad by the fact that we will miss all her colors and textures. We get sad by the fact that we can’t take her in our luggage. See, she makes us sad. But it’s a good sad. It’s a loving kind of sadness. We appreciate EVERYTHING that Bebhinn did and does for us. She is caring, young, open minded and fun. We wish we could take that crazy laugh with us. Or those crazy tattoos. Or those crazy clothes. Everything mixed together gave us an excellent adviser that is a huge part of our lives. We will miss her a lot. Bebhinn, thank you very much for everything. I mean it. Muito obrigada e seja feliz.” -Jessica Storrer, Brazil
“She pronounces all our difficult names the way they are supposed to be.” -Ameer Salman Ottamaliyekkal, India
“You are one of my ideal women. You did a lot for us. Thank you so much for all you’ve done for me. Kim you were a pillar of support, an epitome of strength, as loving as a mother, as strict as a father, as caring as a friend, a disciplinarian, yet always so approachable and warm at heart. In you, I’ve found a mother, a father, a friend, a philosopher, a leader, a motivator, an adviser, and a guide. Whatever I did, you have stood by my side. You’ve praised, you’ve punished, you’ve always been fair. Whenever I needed, you’ve always been there. Very, very special thanks for everything. I will miss you a lot.” -Lutfun Naher, Bangladesh
“Dear Iris, I really don’t know how to thank you enough for being such a wonderful person with me. Yes, I made it hard for you sometimes, but I want you to remember that, that made me reap a greater appreciation for you. Now, I have a special person to talk to my friends about. You filled in one more space in my heart. Thank you. I hope you remember that the main entrance of South America is Colombia and that you are openly welcomed there. I’ll be waiting for you with a cup of coffee in my hand, and show you some of the wonderful things of Colombia, not one day but very soon.” -Endor Rebolledo, Colombia
“Thank You Bebhinn for your tolerance ; I know it isn’t easy to manage people especially from 6 different country; I thank you for your love and support.” -Marie-Claude Assamoi, Cote d’Ivoire
“I would like to thank Iris for her help and support! The best time I had with Iris was when the group traveled to Mt. Baker: I saw my adviser having fun with her husband and the group! I really love the moments when I see people out of their office and acting the way they are. Iris Anthony, I want to thank you for all the emotional support you gave to me, whenever I needed it. Also, you shined a light on my path by helping to create a chess club! I was feeling very frustrated by not finding an adviser to the chessclub, and you made it happen. I think an important seed for the chess club was planted, and I hope it will continue because of your support!” -Paulo Victor Panazzolo , Brazil.
“Hi Bebhinn, thank you for all your efforts and patience in taking care of us during our stay here in the U.S. I do appreciate your contribution toward our success in this program.” – Grace Kalumata, Indonesia
The NWCCI program is part of the Community College Initiative, an exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs.