I'm Carlin Van Schaik. I was born and raised in Lubbock a college town in the Texas panhandle. It was here that I had my first interaction with the Episcopal Church. I grew up attending St. Christopher's Episcopal Church, and still consider them a vital part of my life.
I got more involved in Church and Leadership through a local Episcopal summer camp. Growing up my favorite part of the year was the week I got to spend at Quarterman Ranch. I went for years and eventually became a counselor myself. I think that this time taught me the more about myself and others than any other experience I have ever had. It doesn't hurt that some of my best friends are from this period of my life. In addition, I discovered the joy of serving others. I first became familiar with this through counseling for the Promise Project camps. These are camps sponsored by the church for children whose parents are incarcerated or who live in poverty. Working with this organization left me knowing that all I wanted to do with my life was serve others in whatever way I could. It also showed me how ill-equipped I was to handle these challenges. So, I spent time working for two other Episcopal Church camps in New Mexico and California in an attempt to understand as much as possible about these ministries.
I went on to attend college at St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland. I graduated in May of 2013 with a bachelor of arts degree. St. John's is a tiny liberal arts college (about 450 students) that provides a traditional liberal arts education through a study of the Western cannon of great books. I should note here, that I love to read. Like anything and everything. Specifically, in my time at St. John's I came to be a great lover of the works of St. Augustine.
After St. John's a joined the Young Adult Service Corps and spent this past year in Seoul, South Korea. I worked for the Korean Anglican Church by providing support for a number of their social welfare programs. While in Korea I discovered a love of history and have been pursuing a greater understanding of the subject. I also discovered a love of community development projects. This led me to accept a second year with YASC in the Southern Philippines. After this year, I hope to return to school for a Master's degree in international development.
In addition to loving reading, I have a passion for visual arts. Though I'm not particularly gifted in this myself, I never feel lonely in a museum. I also have a fondness for music, particularly classical, American folk, and gospel music. I love the outdoors, camping, hiking, kayaking. I love meeting new people. To call myself extroverted is a bot of an understatement. I thrive on the company of others. A fundamental belief of mine is the value and necessity of human community. From our individual families, to the church, to the whole world.
My goal for this year abroad is to understand what makes a community successful, how it produces the best in its members and become a member of this new community myself. I hope to use this understanding moving forward in my life to bring about the best I can for myself and others. What can I say, I'm an optimist, at the bottom of it all, I just believe in trying to do good.