Monday, July 16, 2018

UPDATE Week of July 16

Look who ran into each other down at OBX!


- Monday: Engagement Shindig for Reese and Julia...

Great to see the Summers! (in the background) Miss them!

Tuesday: Great planning meeting with Terrance Hawkins at a new favorite downtown coffee shop Off the Beaten Path 102 W. Third. Check it out!

This is Jemi the owner operator. She is an inspiration. 

Wednesday: Hanging out with Eric Mathis at the Community Garden and Love Out Loud's Service Week...

Let's grow this!

Also wrapping up a great week at Hope VBS...

Thursday: Hanging out with power ladies Erika Quaile and Jennie Hess as they plan a HOPE International Event that YOU ARE INVITED TO!!!!

Seriously - COME!!!

Link to register online: Register HERE for lunch with Peter Greer

Friday: Getting a surprise visit from Lucy Coats who has loved David since the day he was born...

Saturday: Crashing the Kids for Kids Triathalon

Speaking at Camp Merri-Mac and Timberlake to the counselors and then hanging out with Kyle Welch that night. 

Camp Merri-Mac last fall


Aly Hall

After receiving a recruiting letter from the Army tennis coach, I began to learn more about West Point. The Academy’s prestige, leadership development, and strong sense of duty and service appealed to me. I survived Cadet Basic Training the summer after a year of preparatory school and was thrilled to no longer be a new cadet. The academic year was grueling, but I dug in and endured the challenges West Point cadets face. I began to examine my next three years at West Point and my future career as an Army Officer. Through much contemplation and counsel, I decided to leave after completing my plebe (freshman) year and transferred to Covenant College because of the strong sense of community, commitment to Christ and serving others, location, and the tennis program. Some of my fondest memories include my amazing teammates, goofy coworkers and professors in the history department, tutoring my friends, and dorm life. I especially enjoy one on one conversations with friends at coffee shops. After graduating from Covenant this past May I am still unsure of what I want to do vocationally which is a major reason the Fellows program intrigued me. I am strongly leaning toward graduate school for psychology or pursuing a job in education. My passions include helping people, the environment, and service work. I want to learn what it means to be a Christian and faithfully follow Jesus in my vocation.

Bryan Pardue

My name is Bryan Pardue and my story varies from that of most of the fellows. I have not taken any college courses to pursue a degree yet. Not knowing which specific direction I want to take in life has taken me down a number of paths that have all given me an abundance of information. That is, knowing that I do not want to pursue that path. Since graduating high school, I have been diligently working to figure out my calling. I have worked case management for special needs patients, sales, missions, shift management, marketing, ministry, sports and even the medical field and I am grateful for all of the experiences. However, I am unbelievably excited to begin the Fellows and start working and learning with specific intention. I am eager to hone and sharpen my communication and networking abilities through the Fellows. But perhaps the thing that I am most excited for is the community. It will be interesting and encouraging to be with others with similar aspirations to mine and learning and growing with them. I cannot wait to be a part of this ambitious, Godly community and learn to serve well.


Do you have the gift of hospitality? If so, we would love you to offer it to the Winston-Salem Fellows by being a Host Family.

Contact Ned Erickson or
Virginia Perry


Thanks for all of your support this year.

If you would like to donate to the Winston-Salem Fellows
send checks to:
WS Fellows
851 W. 5th St.
Winston-Salem, NC 27101

or give online at:


David at camp

David at camp

The engaged couple

Natalie at the beach

Anna Rose on a horse

Monday, July 09, 2018

UPDATE Week of July 9

Reese and soon to be Julia Schaffner!!!!
This is one of my favorite photos from Year 1. Taken just over 24 hours from the program launch - it was pretty clear that Reese had already fallen in love with Julia. It was a long year for these two, but they did their best to honor the no dating rule. And now...


In the shadow of the mountains that served as the venue for their first date - Reese popped the question on the 4th of July. Congratulations! So excited for you two.


Laura Johnson

My name is Laura Johnson and I am a Winston-Salem native. I spent the last four years in Greenville, SC attending Furman University where I majored in Politics and International Affairs as well as Religion. I also acquired a minor in Poverty Studies which led me to a summer of working to help the low-income population of Greenville County better access the healthcare system.  I am fascinated by the healthcare system and am seeking a career working in healthcare policy.

While I love comfort and minimal change, I took college as an opportunity to push myself out of my comfort zone and learn in new settings. I spent one semester studying religion in Spain, Greece, and Italy and the next semester in Jerusalem, Israel where I got to read the Land, see the Text, and live the Book. My favorite part about living in Israel was making friends with the Palestinian population and trying a new coffee shop every day. Studying abroad in Israel was by far my hardest semester abroad, academically and emotionally, but I find myself itching to go back.

I’ve spent four summers coaching a summer league team in Winston, the Sherwood Sharks. Being a swimmer my whole life and having spent my childhood at Sherwood, I love sharing my excitement for the sport with kids. It is so satisfying to watch my swimmers improve and be excited about becoming better swimmers. Sherwood is my second home and I can’t imagine a summer without that place.

I find happiness when browsing around a bookstore or sitting at a coffee shop by myself. I come from a family where love of books is mandatory. I love trying out new restaurants and I could eat breakfast for every meal. I believe that meals are essential times where you get to bond with others and build community. Because of that, I love working in the kitchen- I spent much of high school working at my mom’s catering company and store and worked as a cook one summer at Frontier Ranch- a Young Life camp.


We are taking a hard look at a few candidates to fill our last open spot for this upcoming Fellows year. We interviewed one on Friday during the monsoon. Fortunately, we performed the interview inside. 

Yesterday, after dropping off Anna Rose at her second camp of the summer...

I really didn't want to say good-bye (it's her birthday today)

Anyway, back to recruiting - I had the chance to have lunch and speak to the camp staff at Camp Hollymont for Girls on the way home. 

Their program director Amy Lewellan has become a dear friend. It was a lot of fun speaking to the women. It threw me for a minute that there were only females in the audience! But what a great time of encouragement. We shall see. I hope one applies!


Rich Simpson

We drove up this week to celebrate Lia's home town's 100th anniversary. Lia's dad, Rich, was the President of the Centennial committee so we got to be a part in the to do. 

Rich and the mayor of Upper Arlington
The plaque

The golden bear they commissioned
One of the golden bear's cubs
And of course the parade...

If I could wave my magic wand, I would use it to convince Lia's dad to run for President. He would be great, and I think he could win. If anyone has a magic wand I could borrow, let me know. 

Other notable moments from the week.

Monday. Great time meeting up with Alex Loy 

Then, my second coffee meeting with Jay McCabe. Jay was one of my Young Life guys back during his Mount Tabor days. Like many of my Young Life guys he has now surpassed me in wisdom and knowledge. 

One very cool thing is that Jay is the new Executive Director of the soon to be Virginia Beach Fellows Program! Seriously, how cool is that? What a joy it has been this spring talking him through all the speed bumps and helping him avoid all the mistakes I made!

Then, it was Program Planning time with Shannon Rainey is basically my assistant director even though I can't pay her. 

From there, it was securing a job for one of our Fellows with NCS and Love Out Loud - what a cool opportunity!

Then, a great meeting with Clyde Godwin and Barnes Harris before jumping into the car to head to Columbus, Ohio for the 4th of July holiday. 

Thursday. We drove back just in time for me to attend the tail end of the Love Out Loud Citywide Leader Meeting at their new offices over at the Salt Box on Ivy. CHECK IT OUT! It's awesome. 

Then, a meeting with Redeemer Pres and our board chair Josh Benoit and staff person Tripp Sanders to talk through logistics for the year. I love watching connections come together. 

Friday was another full day of planning and coordination. Clay Cooke, one of our professors, and also one of my former Young Life guys (he has also surpassed me big time) met to talk through the fall. Then, I had a fabulous coffee meeting with Mike Campbell the CEO of Habitat. What a great guy and friend. We are lucky to have him. Then, a two hour power meeting with Dodd and Becky Drake the Directors of the Greensboro Fellows to share ideas and find ways we can work together. (We do our Center for Creative Leadership Module with them each year). Then, a quick turnaround to interview a fine young woman named Chanice Withers to fill our final Fellows position. (We have two other candidates so we shall see!

Then off to pick up Anna Rose, wash all her clothes, and pack her bags to take her to her second camp!

 Anna Rose became a legend at Camp Cheerio because she caught a bullfrog that was literally the size of a football. This frog in her hand was not the same one.


We are three weeks away from the end of our fiscal year. Thank you to all of you who have come around this program with your financial resources. We couldn't do it without you!

Here is how to support us.

Checks to

Winston-Salem Fellows
851 W. 5th St.
Winston-Salem, NC 27101

 or online at


This week, we are hard at work finding host families and our last few final jobs. I still need a Physical Therapist Tech job bad!

Also, still looking for a professional writing opportunity or grantwriting or development work.

And also looking for a research position or an opportunity with policy.


Hope Pres has its VBS so I am tied up every evening with fifth graders (sometimes literally).

And meetings and planning. And a dinner with the Costens that we only have had to postpone twice. NO LONGER. IT IS HAPPENING!!!

And also several parties for our dear friends Tim and Lindsay Musser who are leaving for Senegal to teach and nurse for the next two years. We had their family over for dinner on Saturday. And laughed and cried as we reminisced over memories from the last ten plus years with them as friends.

Franklin County butterfly garden

the 4th at Camp Cheerio


Wet dog

Dry Dog

Thanks all.

Keep sharing the story and spreading the love.

Monday, July 02, 2018

UPDATE Week of July 2

Alex stayed at the Kimpton last night #livinglarge

Good morning to me! Alex Loy drove in last night from Tennessee for a two day work meeting with Sunshine Beverage Co. where she has recently been hired to be the Sales Rep for the state of Tennessee! Congrats Alex! So excited that we will be seeing more of you...


First of all, it's July! When did that happen? (Yesterday, Ned. Duh). 

Highlights of the week (aka what happened in addition to the zillion emails and texts and good old fashioned office work...)

Monday. Dave and I drove back from the beach, and I dropped him off at home and went straight into meetings. Shout out to Walter Robb! The man is primed and ready to shake things up in this city. Very excited for him and us! Then, a Camino meeting with Parker Richardson from Elevation Church. We have a cool connection: his mentor Terry Bruce was one of my Young Life guys! What a small world!

Tuesday. Had a great time with Josh Kelty from Summit School, and then sat down with a young woman looking for some career coaching and encouragement named Chanice. That meeting led to a surprise application to the Winston-Salem Fellows in my inbox the next day! Since then, we have gone through two interviews with her and are working on a formal interview this week. We shall see! 

Go Dolphins!
If you didn't know, Tuesday night is Swim Meet night in Winston-Salem...

Wednesday. I met with my mentor. Shout out to Fil. Then a business call over lunch and a spectacular meeting at the Winston-Salem Foundation that afternoon. Big things are happening. Stay tuned! Then, I had another call with a potential Fellow. Really great guy. 

Thursday. Was a busy day. Ran with my new bud Adam Jones (four minute miler Adam Jones!!!) Then Ashley Trewhella and I spent the morning over at Crossnore/Children's Home. We met with Sarah Howell-Miller and learned about the vision at the Foundery. (Big things!) Then, hung out with Adam and Owen at the farm. Then, I had lunch with Johannes Steffin which led to a double lunch with the folks sitting next to us because we realized we all wanted to talk about the same thing! What a cool deal meeting David and Beatrice with the Trauma Informed Care and Resilience Center. BIG THINGS ARE HAPPENING! Get ready Winston-Salem! That led to a great meeting with Joel McIver at Senior Services where we conspired for the Fellows to volunteer with S.S. this coming year. Then, a coffee with Julia Lovett's sister Katie who is figuring marriage (like we all are - or those of us who are married). Then, we prepped for our big Program Committee Meeting which went from 7-9:44pm. Whew! I have an incredible team!!!

Friday. Was more relaxed. A few more meetings, several emails, and then off to go fishing with my son. 

David caught eight fish in less than an hour. 

Including this guy:


Saturday. Was fun times in the mountains with friends. Then, a wild night at the Madhouse aka Bowman Gray. 

Bekah and Lia

Dave, Ben and Wyatt
Ned, Luke, Sean and Jeff

Sunday. Was church. Great to see incoming Fellow Andrew Miller in the congregation as well at Kate Donahoo lead worship (with her mom who is visiting this week from Houston). Then, lunch with incoming Fellow Mathu Gibson. Then, a killer hot yoga session.

Where is Anna Rose?

She is at Camp is proof.

Oh how we miss you!


Abby Holdsworth
My name is Abby Holdsworth, and I’m from the precious beach town of Wilmington, North Carolina. I come from a family of five, and have two younger brothers. I stayed around for college and went UNCW, where I majored in Studio Art. I spent most of that studying ceramics, photography, and graphic design. In 2014, I opened an Etsy shop called “The Brass Hammer” and have been selling handmade jewelry ever since. I minored in Spanish, which is a passion of mine that I’m always trying to grow in! I’ve served as a youth leader at Christ Community Church for the last four years, and have absolutely loved building relationships with the high school girls there. I value my friendships deeply and love hanging out with people. I love being at the ocean and I get super excited about small, beautiful things in nature.

I can't wait for you to meet Abby. She is one of the reasons why this upcoming year is shaping up to me an all time great!


Thank you for supporting the Winston-Salem Fellows. If you have yet to join the team. Do so by making your donation by check

Winston-Salem Fellows
851 W. 5th St.
Winston-Salem, NC 27101

or online at


We are still looking for Jobs for several of our Fellows. 
Opportunities in Service Sector, Non-Profit, Advocacy, Professional Writing, Physical Therapy, Psychology, Research, Education, Business, Ministry...If you have job openings that would be beneficial to be filled by talented, passionate, purpose driven, high performing, hard working individuals - LET ME KNOW!

We are also looking at taking on another Fellow. Likely a female. If you know of someone - let me know THIS WEEK!

We are also working with our church partners to solidify placements, to find host families and mentors. If you are interested in:
(1) hosting a fellow in your home
(2) mentoring a fellow
(3) volunteering in some other way. 

This is the future - I think we are looking good!

 Thanks all. Keep sharing the story and spreading the love!