A message from Ms. Kursten

It’s been amazing to lead RYP for the past 11 years, but sadly, it is time for me to say farewell. I don’t even have the words to describe what RYP (and our students) mean to me, but I am going to give it a shot.

I’m humbled. I’m inspired. I’m thankful.

To my students, who allowed me into their world, I’m forever grateful to be given the chance to know you and watch you flourish over the years. You have enabled me to embrace hope in an entirely different way and have taught me more than I ever expected.

For my incredibly competent and committed team (ESOL teachers included), it’s been such a joy working with you! Your unwavering devotion and consistency allow RYP to stay strong. I feel relieved, knowing that I am leaving the program in such capable hands. I’m also excited to make room for a new coordinator who will bring a fresh set of skills and renewed energy to the program, which will advance RYP even further.

To all of the community partners, volunteers, and donors who have supported RYP throughout the years, we couldn’t do this work without you. Thank you for letting our needs and interests guide our collaborations as well as your pocket books. 

Although I will be staying in Baltimore, and this is not goodbye, I would love to see you one last time before my official last day, which is 9/1.

If you’re free, please stop by Sweet 27 bakery and Cafe this Friday (8/25) between 6-10 pm, to celebrate with me. Generously, Sweet 27 will be donating 10% of all food/drink sales to benefit RYP. Hope to see you then!

-Much love, Ms. Kursten

A message to Ms. Kursten from her staff, students, colleagues, and supporters:

Ms. Kursten taught us all so much about what it means to be dedicated, loyal, humble, creative, and unwavering in support of refugee youth. None of us quite have the words to express how much she has done for each and every one of us, but we hope she knows how much she has impacted our lives and the world around her. We are inspired by her love, her commitment, her advocacy, and her passion — and we hope that we can accomplish even a fraction of what she did in her time with RYP. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Ms. Kursten. We are forever changed because of you!