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The Multiracial Student Scholarship Fund is one of the strategies employed by the Office of Race Relations (ORR) to develop multiracial congregational leadership in the CRCNA. Recipients attend one of the higher learning institutions affiliated with the denomination—Calvin University, Dordt University, The King’s University, Redeemer University, Kuyper College, Trinity Christian College, and Calvin Theological Seminary. They have also expressed a strong desire to train for and to engage in the ministry of racial reconciliation in church and/or in community.

Through bountiful gifts given last year, the Office of Race Relations was able to award scholarships to six students for the 2022-23 school year. It’s our privilege to introduce you to Alyssa Pokharel, one of the six recipients. Read her biography below and some of her thoughts on the importance of social justice.

Hello! I’m Alyssa Pokharel and I come from Nepal. I grew up in Kathmandu with my parents who are both Nepali and serve as missionaries there. I am a freshman at Calvin University, studying psychology with a concentration in neuroscience. I am also in the Ministry Leadership Cohort at Calvin, through which I’ve been learning about leadership, community, and the church.

Psychology has always fascinated me, but living in Nepal and seeing the need for mental health is why I chose to major in it. Mental health is still a big stigma in Nepal, and although the field of psychology has grown over the past couple of years, it is not where it should be. There is also disparity between those who can afford treatment and those who may not even have access to it. After finishing my education in the US, I hope to go back to Nepal to serve there. 

I’m so thankful to be at Calvin, where faith is at the forefront of my education and every class is preparing me to serve God’s Kingdom and participate in His work of renewal. There was of course an economic barrier as I was coming to the States for college and for this reason I am deeply grateful for the Race Relations scholarship program. I also get the opportunity to take part in the workshops through which I can learn more about God’s heart for justice.

If you feel led to support this valuable scholarship fund and students like Alyssa, please give online at this link. Your gift today will bless future students as they train for and prepare to engage in the ministry of racial reconciliation in church and in society.

For those who wish to be considered for a scholarship from the Office of Race Relations, information and an application are found at this link.

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