With a heart for cross-cultural outreach and nonprofit service, Katherine Cespedes is the newest member of the Franciscan Mission Service office. Born in Lima, Peru, and raised in Miami, Florida, she loves telling stories about her many travels and cultural experiences.

“In my leisure time, I go to completely new environments and meet diverse people. Attending cross-cultural arts–such as traditional music, plays, dance, and visual arts–helps me become more communally, culturally, and civically engaged.”

She returned to Florida and worked as the project manager for the Confucius Institute at Miami Dade College, a nonprofit which supports exchange programs between the United States and China to foster international understanding and learning.

Immersed in the Chinese culture and community, Katherine worked to extend the Institute’s opportunities to underserved communities, allowing a broader range of students to attend the cross-cultural arts, business, and educational events.

Last month, Katherine began her 13-month volunteer commitment as the program coordinator of the Nonprofit Servant Leadership Program, where she will be supporting outreach, planning leadership learning activities, and scheduling speakers for the FMS volunteers in Washington, DC.

The integration of faith with communal and professional growth is an aspect of the FMS program that she looks forward to for the upcoming year, as well as exploring the varied arts, communities, cultures, and museums in DC.

Welcome, Katherine!

Fun fact: “I like to learn all different kinds of songs in different languages, and then I make friends with people who speak that language.”

Favorite saint: “With his compassion and courage, St. Francis of Assisi is the most Christ-like man that I have ever known. It has always impressed me how this humble man had such a profound influence on the Church.”