Community Corner: Noelle Niedo

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Community Corner


Noelle Frances Garcia Niedo
Immersion Coordinator | August, 2013 – Present


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Tell us a bit about yourself…

Hometown: Ili’ili, American Samoa

Other Places Lived: Portland, OR

Academic & Professional Background:

  • 2013 | B.S. Biology | University of Portland | Portland, OR
  • 2013 | Thomas A. Gerhardt Memorial Award for Outstanding Student Leadership

Describe a typical day in the life of the Immersion Coordinator:
In the morning, I prepare the kitchen and set up the Hospitality Center for volunteers and guests. During Morning Hospitality, I help ensure that the program runs smoothly and also work one-on-one with guests that need special resources. In the afternoon, I schedule and plan immersions and attend staff meetings. On Saturdays, I run Saturday Morning Hospitality, eat pancakes, and facilitate day immersions for groups interested in learning about urban poverty issues and social justice.

What is your favorite part of your job at Saint André Bessette Catholic Church?
I love greeting people by name and getting to know our guests and volunteers personally. I love being at a place where each person is truly valued.

Now for some easy starter questions…

Favorite Musical Artist:
Of Monsters and Men

Favorite Book:
Tattoos on the Heart, by  Greg Boyle

Favorite Quote:
“If what you did yesterday still looks big to you, then you haven’t done much today.”

Okay, now for some tougher questions…

Who would you call a hero or inspiration in your life?
My parents. They have taught me the value of hard work, importance of community, and always encourage me to pursue my dreams.

Do you collect anything? If so, what?
Thimbles from each place I travel. I currently have 56. A handful of them are from family and friends who gave them to me as gifts after they have traveled.

What is the most inspiration moment you have ever experienced and why?
During a World Youth Day event in Spain, I, along with a group of friends from my university, met a group of people from Iraq who also was at the event representing their country. We bonded over that fact that we were all anxiously waiting in the hot sun for the Pope to arrive. We exchanged gifts from our respective countries and took a lot of group pictures holding the US and Iraq flags side by side. It was awesome to look back at that moment and realize that it didn’t matter that we came from countries that were at war with each other. We were there to celebrate the same faith we shared and that was all that mattered.

What do you like to do in your free time?
Jam with my friends on the piano, guitar, ukulele, or kazoo.

What are the top three things on your “Bucket List” for life?
1. Visit Asia and Africa – then I will have visited each continent (minus Antarctica).
2. Get scuba certified.
3. Hot air balloon over India.

And just for laughs and pondering…

Ninjas or Pirates?
Ninjas. They’d beat Pirates at a game of Ping Pong any day.

If you could have any super power, what would it be and why?
The power to pause time so that I could do all the things that I never have enough time for and still have enough time to sleep.

What is the most important part of a sandwich? Please elaborate.
The meat. As a Filipina, a meal is not complete without meat.

And finally, before we conclude…

What are the most important lessons you’ve learned in life?
Being at St. Andre’s has taught me that service is more than doing for others – it is about being with others.

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