Staff Spotlight: Cherise Clark
Meet Cherise! Cherise joined us in May as our Adult English Director and has been such a valuable asset to our team. She has years of experience, whether she was teaching Spanish at Kingsbury High or coordinating the ESL program at a local school, as well as years of education (she’s currently working on her PhD!). Since Cherise is relatively new, we wanted to ask her a few questions for you to get to know her a little better!
When did you start working for Su Casa and how did you hear about us?
I started working with Su Casa in May of this year. I actually first heard about Su Casa when I attended Iglesia Esperanza back in 2011. I had recently returned from Spain and I wanted a chance to stay involved with the Latino community so I spent my Sundays with Bryce, Noreen and the church there. Because I was in my first year of teaching, I didn't have free time to volunteer at Su Casa, but I remember thinking it was such a brilliant idea and I wanted to be involved. Fast-forward to January 2019, a friend told me that Su Casa was looking for an Adult Education Director and I remembered how much I loved the idea and mission. Just short of a year later, I've been able to be a part of that idea and mission and I'm loving it!
What do you love most about Su Casa?
I think the thing that I love most about Su Casa is the fellowship of Christian community with everyone I meet. It doesn't matter if it's the staff, students, volunteers, or even the mail man, everyone is genuinely greeted, respected, and welcomed. No one is too small or unimportant to be a part of the family and the house. It truly does feel like Su Casa (His House).
What drove you to learn Spanish?
I was homeschooled all throughout my school years and we actually lived not far from a missionary family who had lived in Mexico for many years. My mom loved Spanish and knew we needed to have some language experience so we would meet up with other homeschooling families for Spanish classes. I pushed myself to be the best in it because I had a crush on one of the boys in class who always knew the right answers! (Okay, I was 9!) While that "relationship" didn't go anywhere, my love of languages and fascination with Spanish did. I kept going through middle school, high school, and into college. I studied abroad in Spain and graduated to teach Spanish for several years. I honestly just love languages! I've worked on several others throughout the years (French, German, Danish, Chinese, and now I'm starting Arabic!) but I'll always have the most love for Spanish.
What advice would you give to people who want to be involved in the Hispanic community?
Jump in! It's easy to go to the classic answer "But I don't speak Spanish!" and my response: "So what?" There are so many ways to be involved even if you don't speak the same language. Su Casa has made the perfect solution for that; we need people who speak ENGLISH to minister to those who want to learn. Because LOVE transcends language, you'll quickly find that you can speak to people who need it most. Contact me and I'll find a way to get you connected!
Now that we know work Cherise, what do you like to do when you’re not working?
SLEEP! No, but actually, I do love sleep. I have 2 little boys and a husband and between them and work, there's not a lot of time for naps! When I'm awake, I do love to try new things in the kitchen, make new plans for organizing my house, travel a LOT, and do any sort of craft I can get my hands on!
If you were given a free plane ticket to anywhere in the world, where would you go?
OH MAN. That's hard. See, I have a goal to get to every continent at least once and I still have to make it to Asia and South America (I'm torn about Antartica; I hate the cold, but love penguins...). So I'm not really sure which one I'd choose first. I think I'd have to take the plain to Peru or Argentina. But that's a really hard choice!
What’s you favorite Latin American dish?
Well, if I'm going to a restaurant, Shrimp Chimichangas. So much cheese and tortilla and SHRIMP... so good. But if someone's making it for me? Such a hard choice. I've been into arepas lately. Paella is pretty high up there, especially if it has SHRIMP....
Favorite Bible verse?
Exodus 14:14- ...The LORD your God will fight for you; you need only to be still.
We’re extremely grateful to have Cherise as part of our team! She is kind, hard working, a great interior decorator (have you seen our new ESL classrooms?!) and always brings a sunny disposition to our office.