FACES Foundation is thrilled to announce that on the upcoming January 2013 surgical trip to Lambayeque, Peru, we will be accompanied by our first ever FACES Goodwill Trip Ambassador, Chris Dickey of Portland, OR. The Goodwill Trip Ambassador is a non-medical community member who joins the surgical team to help out with a wide spectrum of tasks during the trip. Chris Dickey will be help with maintaining our Electronic Health Record, taking clinical photos, working with patients and families and assisting in the operating room. In addition to becoming a member of the surgical team and assisting in a variety of ways, Chris has made a generous contribution to FACES of $2,500, which will cover the costs of 10 cleft lip and palate surgeries. Chris will be an excellent addition to the team. Welcome, Chris! Thank you for your caring and generosity. Take a little time to get to know our Goodwill Ambassador a little better by reading Chris’s story below.
I started my professional life out of college with the IRS in Durham, NC which led to law school at the University of Oregon in Eugene. It was a good time to pick a place that I actually wanted to live, and Oregon has now been my home for 37 years. I practiced law for two years in the litigation department in a downtown Portland law firm, where I met my husband and where I determined I did not want to have a private law practice. I jumped at the chance to join the Appellate Division of the Department of Justice in Salem when Dave Frohnmayer (one of my law school professors) became Attorney General. I was happy as a clam in the Appellate Division, for many reasons, right up to the birth of my second child. I then resigned and stayed home with the kids for 6 years.
Unexpectedly, I fell in love with the preschool years as my own children went through them. So instead of returning to law, I changed direction completely. I obtained a Montessori teaching degree and a Masters in Education. I bought a small house in NE Portland, converted it to a school, formed a non-profit and operated an early childhood education program for low-income, mostly minority kids for 8 years. I made a long-term commitment to my 33 graduates, continuing to support them through their school years and establishing a college scholarship fund for them at OCF. We granted our first scholarships last summer as our oldest graduates are now freshman in college.
Currently, I am in my fourth year of teaching at another early childhood education program that I started at Kateri Park, a low-income housing facility operated by Catholic Charities in which the majority of resident families are refugees from Africa, Asia, and Latin America. We have two classes, one for 3′s and one for 4′s, and I am having a great time.
Along the way I got hooked on (mostly) international service trips. I spent 7 spring breaks with high school students building houses in Tijuana. I spent a lovely week with my daughter and her college friends gutting houses in New Orleans after the hurricane. I’ve been to Guatemala twice with Medical Teams International building stoves. I spent some time in Kenya with Global Roots assessing the living conditions of HIV/AIDS orphans. And I went with the Unitarians to Haiti for a week to help build an Eco Village in the country for earthquake victims. Peru will be an exciting new adventure for me which I am looking forward to with great anticipation.