Christy Bakke, Dean of Culture for Lester Prep, finds great joy in her job when scholars grow in knowledge and appreciation for one another, their community, and themselves. Christy shares one story of seeing that occur in a Lester Prep student.
“One day I noticed a scholar had broken out with a rash all over her hands,” Christy begins. “The rash caused her skin to be dry, cracked, and bleeding in some places. She was very embarrassed and immediately her eyes started darting around the room. No one else had noticed, except her shoulder partner, who without missing a beat said, "My brother gets that sometimes on his feet. I bet it hurts. Don't worry, though. I'll help you catch up." I was so struck by her compassion for a classmate she knew little about and by her encouraging response. To this day, I come back to this when I am feeling discouraged or frustrated with "kids these days" and am reminded that the potential is there if we only give opportunities for kindness and brotherly love.”
Born in the town of Bloomington, IL, Christy found her call to urban education while on a middle school mission trip.
“The most impactful part of the trip was our voyage to a small Mayan community outside of the city,” says Christy. “This community was beyond poor and entirely cut off from the surrounding area because they didn't possess the language or skills to connect with society. This didn't mean that they weren't skilled or intelligent; they were just skilled and intelligent at different things. I recognized that something had to give to allow them to connect to others and to ease their suffering. Through many years of searching, I came to find out that the thing I believe could bridge the gap for them is education. This is true of all people. Education is the ticket to opportunity, connection, and choice.”
Christy enjoys old school country music, experiencing God’s creation on the Wolf River or National Parks and one day might just be found eating some ice cream after a relaxing afternoon of mowing the grass.