Roseville/Bulletin People: July 23, 2017


Quincy Tree House Executive Director Tami Moberg and the organization’s new van, which was provided by the New Brighton/Mounds View Rotary Club and Christ the King Lutheran Church.

Gabi and Mac Gray with exchange student Pambayun Savira from Indonesia. submitted photo

The New Brighton/Mounds View Rotary Club teamed up with Christ the King Lutheran Church to provide Mounds View-based Quincy Tree House a much-needed 15-passenger van. Quincy’s mission is to help homeless youth in the Mounds View School District, and the program needed a reliable source of transportation. The Rotary Club submitted a matching grant request to Rotary District 5960. Adding their own contribution to the grant money, the club members were able to purchase a used van in excellent condition from Christ the King and transfer ownership to Quincy Tree House. New Brighton/Mounds View Rotary also presented a check for $500 to the organization. Tami Moberg, Quincy’s executive director, was extremely appreciative of New Brighton/Mounds View Rotary and Christ the King for providing the much needed addition to Quincy Tree House’s mission. 


 

Kasey and Theresa Gray of Falcon Heights hosted their first high school foreign exchange student this year, as a learning experience for their kids — and they feel like they received far more than they gave.

 Pambayun Savira, a Muslim girl from Indonesia who went by “Pam” in the U.S., learned a lot about American culture, snow sports and public speaking during the year. Yet host dad Kasey feels the entire family, including his children, 13-year-old Gabi and 15-year-old Mac, benefited more from viewing their world through Savira’s perspective — especially with the recent U.S. political shifts regarding Muslim travel and immigration policy.

 Savira arrived early in August last year to join the Grays for a vacation in Glacier National Park and quickly showed her muster. “She cheerfully tolerated camping in 30-degree nights, diligently rising to pray each morning at 5 a.m.,” Kasey said. “We saw she was disciplined, determined but flexible — open to any challenges that might come her way.” 

At Roseville Area High School, Savira maintained a high grade point average and completed three advanced placement courses. She joined the student council, participated in the Youth Leadership Initiative Group and competed in public speaking, advancing to the state level. She always had room for down time with the Grays, too, whether walking the dog, playing basketball with Mac and Gabi, or watching a movie. “Finally, she has a beautiful smile that warms everyone’s heart; we are so blessed to have been given this opportunity,” Kasey said.

 Savira came to the U.S. as part of the Youth Exchange & Study Program. The YES program is a grant program established in 2002 in response to the events of Sept. 11, 2001, and funded by the U.S. Department of State. The program awards scholarships to high school students from more than 40 countries with significant Muslim populations, giving them the opportunity to spend up to a year living with a host family in the U.S. and to attend an American high school.

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