NELA’s “Learning Leaders”

Written by Karen Castañeda, Communications Specialist

Nataly Romero and John Sein working on their newsletter.

Broetje Family Trust seeks to ‘bear fruit that will last’. One way we bear fruit is to encourage the talents and interests of youth in our community through opportunities created just for them.

Last school year, students from our K-8 Christian school, NELA (Nueva Esperanza Leadership Academy), job shadowed the Hospitality and Communications teams. At the beginning of the 2022-23 school year, two more NELA students expressed interest in job shadowing the Communications Team. 

The students are in Mrs. Hedlund’s 7th and 8th grade class. Nataly Romero is a student who shadowed our team last year and returned this year to continue to develop her passion for writing. The other student, John Sein, wants to develop art and photography skills. During their first few days, the team sat with them and brainstormed a project they could work on together. They came up with the idea of producing a NELA newsletter.

I didn’t know how hard it was to interview someone. I’ve learned how to interview people and get to the core of what I want them to say for the story. My favorite memory so far of job shadowing was when we would be in a circle with the Communications team discussing projects or sharing poems with each other. Also, when the first newsletter was released, it was exciting.

Nataly Romero

With diligence and talents combined, Nataly and John Sein began working on their first newsletter. The first step of this entire process was to come up with a name. They came up with a few different options and together selected their favorite, Learning Leaders. Next up was creating a logo; in order to involve other NELA students, Nataly and John Sein asked them to vote on two options. With the logo selected, the two moved on to the next part of the newsletter, designing the layout. This turned into another opportunity for them to collaborate and create something they were proud of.

With all the design work out of the way, Nataly and John Sein then focused on writing their personal bios, introducing themselves as the team behind the newsletter. One of the biggest struggles they encountered was deciding which stories they would tell in the very first edition. In September, the NELA 7th and 8th grade class went on a field trip to Camp Bighorn in Montana, where they learned more about the concept of Shalom and how to share more deeply about themselves and others. Their newsletter featured this story. After some editing with the communications team, Nataly and John Sein were finally able to print the project and see the results of all their efforts.

I’ve grown. Every time I talk to someone it helps me become more comfortable interviewing. I would get nervous before and my hands would get sweaty. I like getting to know people so that I can play with them and talk to them.

John Sein

A lesson everyone has been learning is how to work better as a team. For us at Broetje Family Trust, we’ve been learning how to teach the next generation professionalism; for the NELA students, they’ve been leaning how to work with each other as well as with us. Working on the Newsletter they have learned how to divide work evenly and how to rely on one another’s strengths to successfully complete their newsletter each month.

It is truly a blessing to be able to help guide and support the new generation with their dreams. Challenging them to develop skills outside of their comfort zone is helping them grow. We are excited to be a part of their stories and look forward to helping them produce more newsletters. 


Stay connected with us - subscribe to our blog!