Written by Jesenia Hernandez, Communications Manager at Broetje Family Trust
Nataly Romero is a middle schooler at Nueva Esperanza Leadership Academy (NELA). She aspires to be a writer and journalist when she grows up. When she shared this academic goal with her teacher, Mrs. Hedlund coordinated for Nataly to job shadow writers at Broetje Family Trust with the goal that she would learn how to help give voice to people in the community and the world.
Nataly walked upstairs with her notebook in hand, excitingly introducing herself to our team and sharing her dream to inspire and make people happy through her writing. Her eyes lit up when she was introduced to Marco Cerqueira, Program Officer for Vista Hermosa Foundation, a regular writer on our blog and a former journalist in Brazil. Over the last few weeks, she has sat in on story committees, listening to pre-published stories and offering feedback and praise. Last month, we worked together on bringing out the true voice of our writers, shifting from academic writing to writing from within. After reading the edited and published version of Jermaine Broetje’s February blog post, “Philanthropy with Heart” she shared with him, “I can hear your heart in this version.”
Nataly’s journey as a writer started when she wrote a poem called, ‘I can fly’. She shared, “I felt like God was helping me write.”
“What inspired you to write?”, I asked.
“After my grandma died everyone was really sad. I was sad too, but I wanted to help make my family happy again,” she said.
Since beginning to job shadow in February, Mrs. Hedlund says, “Nataly has always had such a passion for being involved in the workings of the community. She has loved being able to see how Broetje Family Trust works and how stories can bring to light the needs of the community. She comes back each Wednesday asking if she can stay longer and work with the writers more. She has shared that she sees how writing stories can give power to people who might not feel like they can share their own story. Nataly has an empathetic heart for those who are the most marginalized.”
As writers, we are inspired by Nataly’s positivity, insight and creativity; we are reminded of the power of stories and the healing they can bring. As readers, we can listen to her words, find pockets of light, and as she once said to Jermaine, hear her heart.
A poem by Nataly Romero:
Welcome to NELA
Where you can be the loving caring servant leaders
God made you to be.
NELA makes any mistake
Into an opportunity to take
So you can learn without a concern.
NELA gives us a light
In our heart shining bright
So at the end of it all
we’ll all be standing tall.
Nataly expressed, “My inspiration for this poem is my school, my principal, and everyone else in the building. I was feeling the love I have for my school, but most importantly the servant leaders inside!”