Urbana is a once-every-three-years event sponsored by InterVarsity (IV). It brings together between 10 and 16 thousand college students from around the globe to St. Louis around the theme of Global Missions. This year was historic for TCKs as Urbana officially opened space for them in the form of plenary sessions, a dedicated lounge (sans shoes, which was appreciated greatly), discussion sessions and times of prayer, reflection, and debriefing.
Interaction International’s new Executive Director, Michael Pollock, was in the thick of things wearing his other hat as Director of Daraja. Michael’s involvement included leading a plenary session, co-leading a second session with Rachel Kuhn, leading a discussion on Relationships and Mobility in addition to several of the prayer and debriefing sessions. Between official sessions he met with individual students, adult TCKs at the conference and former China colleagues.
For Michael, the closing evening of the conference marked a significant threshold. At midnight on January 1st while the conference hit it’s crescendo of praise and worship to the God of the Cosmos, and to Jesus, the acknowledged King, it also marked the marked the official beginning of his tenure as Interaction Int’l director.
The Urbana team, led by InterVarsity staffer Rachel Kuhn, was made up of an all TCK ‘caste’ of Katya Schmidt, Josh Newsham, Melissa Miller, Nathan Leung, Julie Hamiter, and her daughter, Amelia Hamiter. Together their childhoods spanned Asia, South America, Africa and the South Pacific. Most importantly, they represented those whose childhoods (and lives!) were deeply impacted by the decision their parents made to say ‘yes’ to overseas mission.
Interaction International looks forward to future opportunities at Urbana conferences and hopes to work more closely with InterVarsity and the mission focus they promote.
Calling all TCKs who want to experience some typical Michigan winter sports! We’re having a TCK “Snow Day” on Saturday, February 9 at the Muskegon Winter Complex.
While there are a variety of sport options to do there, the local’s favorite is to ice skate on the outside rink that winds through a forest trail. Other options at this venue include walking trails, building snowmen, throwing snowballs at Michael Pollock, and watching ice skaters from an enclosed observation room. Daily tickets and equipment prices available on their website: https://www.msports.org/.
After we enjoy these winter activities, we’re invited to warm up with some world-famous homemade chili served by a “TCK Mom” just down the road in Whitehall, followed by a bonfire in the evening with s’mores!
More details to follow on social media and our event page! If you’d like to sign up for this event, please do so with Megan Norton at firstname.lastname@example.org. Otherwise, just show up…we know how TCK’s roll.
2019 is here! For many people this will be a year of transition. It will mean sorting and packing, painful goodbyes, anticipation, uncertainties about the future and much more. It means the loss of a place that has been home and trying to make a new place home. Some TCKs say that they feel most at home in an airport or on a plane because their feelings of grief and anticipation are balanced.
Whether a child, teen or adult, each person processes transition in their own way. Some people will procrastinate in saying goodbyes and wait to the very last minute to do it. Some leave without ever saying goodbye. Some are trailed by a string of broken relationships, while others work to repair them before leaving. Whether they acknowledge them or not, people have expectations about what will come next. In some cases, no place could ever live up to those expectations. In other cases, they are so low or negative that they produce fear and anxiety. Transitions are often a swirl of emotions—anger, anticipation, hope, etc.
As you or your family plan for the transition that is coming this year, don’t just prepare for the packing! Be sure you carve out time for saying goodbyes and create a plan for leaving well. Research says that if you don’t leave well you don’t enter well. As you transition, remember that Interaction has personnel and resources that can help you transition well.
Director of Educational Services
As Michael Pollock has taken the reins of leadership of Interaction International, the central office is moving to Muskegon, Michigan while the office in Carol Stream will remain home to the finance office. Michael is joined in Muskegon by Megan Norton, adult TCK and new assistant director of Daraja.
In the Carol Stream office, the capable Jan Toms will continue as the assistant director of finances, doing the bookkeeping and handling financial transactions. Former executive director, Janet Blomberg, will also remain there returning to her previous position as director of educational services.
The rest of the Interaction staff is scattered around the US. Al Gurley remains the star lead of CCTECC in Houghton, New York. Sheryl O’Bryan heads up TCK Services from Florida. Bret Taylor, Director of Operations will be executing his key role from Waxhaw, North Carolina.
While this geographic multi-point team dynamic is challenging, it seems more than appropriate for Interaction International, as we serve cross-cultural and mobile families, children and individuals. Our expectation is that our team dynamics will also inform our empathy and practice towards our constituents who must overcome distance and culture in their transitions and adjustment.
General business correspondence will transfer to the Muskegon central office in February of 2019. Billing and payment correspondence should continue to be directed to the Carol Stream financial office in Wheaton, Illinois.
P.O. Box 863
Wheaton, IL 60187
Interaction International is pleased to announce that Michael Pollock has been named as its new Executive Director effective January 1, 2019. We are thankful for Michael’s service to the MK/TCK community worldwide and for the skills, abilities, experience, vision and passion that he brings.
Michael is an international educator, author, presenter, consultant and coach who founded and directs Daraja, focused on young adult TCK care and advocacy. An ATCK himself, (US and Kenya) he worked in
China for nine years as an international school principal and student development director. He holds a Masters in Education from Loyola University, Baltimore, and a coaching credential from Creative Results Management, ICF. He has presented globally on TCKs, cross-cultural education, parenting and transition at international schools, U.S. Universities and global conferences. Through co-authoring Third Culture Kids: Growing up Among Worlds (3rd edition), Michael promotes a thriving life for people moving cross-cultural especially in transition care.
Michael laid out his vision of building on the strong historical programs for which Interaction is recognized globally. He also sees opportunities God has put in place to allow Interaction to be a catalyst for a network of organizations collaborating in new ways to enhance services to TCK families.
Janet Blomberg, who has served as Executive Director since 2006, will become the Director of Educational Services where she served previously. The board is grateful for her years of faithful service and appreciates her willingness to continue serving.
In the new year, Interaction will unveil some significant updates.