Kuyper Alumna Works with Troubled Youth in the Dominican Republic

September 15, 2019

Kuyper alumna Brianna (VanDyke) Beck (2016) has been ministering for the past three years at Caribbean Mountain Academy (CMA), a residential program for troubled English-speaking youth in the Dominican Republic. 

Beck graduated with a double major in Biblical Studies and Interdisciplinary Studies, focusing on youth ministry, family studies and counseling.  During her senior year at Kuyper, she connected with a friend who had gone through the program at CMA, an outreach of Crosswinds, a Christian counseling service located in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Beck’s friend encouraged her to apply for a House Staff position at CMA, and Beck hesitantly sent in her application. She was accepted. 

Beck’s responsibilities as House Staff is living day-to-day life with the students, maintaining house structure, and “simply being there for them in the good, as well as in the ugly moments.” She joins the students on field trips, talks them through tough situations, and seeks to love these kids toward Jesus. One of her favorite aspects of the job is its unpredictability. “I’m a spontaneous, adventurous and go-with-the-flow person,” said Beck, indicating that this position lets her use those skills every day.

Long-term, Beck and her husband, Thomas, plan to move back to Michigan. She intends to start school to be an English Sign Language interpreter, while her husband seeks a position as a middle school teacher. As Beck puts it, “I'm open to wherever God wants to place me. It's exciting to me that I don't know where or what that is yet, but I know He will equip me to embrace it and go forward.”