Staff Spotlight: Diana Booren

July 13, 2016 11:55 am Published by

Guest Blogger, Diana Booren, is JBFC’s Volunteer Coordinator. She works closely with our supporters who wish to volunteer in the U.S. and visit our campus in Tanzania. Here, she explains how she became involved in the organization and the responsibilities she has as a Volunteer Coordinator. 

I have known about JBFC for many years, even though I just started working here about 9 months ago.  My parents live in Tulsa and my sisters attended Holland Hall.  My dad shared with me about the work a Holland Hall graduate was doing in Tanzania and from the start I loved the model of JBFC.  My husband, Scott, and I have been delighted to support the work that JBFC does from a distance as we were living in Philadelphia and Louisiana.  When we moved to Tulsa about a year ago, I was eager to find out how I could volunteer and continue to support the mission locally. 

After a few months of volunteering in the office, the job for Volunteer Coordinator became available, and I began work at the end of September last year.  JBFC has such a creative and holistic approach to alleviating poverty, and it is exciting to be part of these innovative solutions and developments within the organization. 
As Volunteer Coordinator, I work with both our Tulsa-based volunteers, as well as, with all the guests who visit our campus each year, school partners and our Pen Pal schools in the U.S.  Volunteers here in Tulsa are a vital part of what we do, helping with mailings, fundraisers and office tasks.  While it isn’t quite as exotic as volunteering on our campus in Tanzania, the work of our U.S. volunteers makes it possible for us to continue to change the lives of the children in our care.
With over a 150 visitors coming to campus each year, there are dozens of arrival schedules, itineraries and details to keep track of. In any sort of international travel there are always the challenges of missed or cancelled flights, lost luggage and other mishaps, but our staff in Tanzania does a fabulous job being flexible and making the best out of these challenging situations. 
Since I’m based in the US, I work with the guests and interns preparing for their trips, and then send them off to Tanzania!   Sometimes it’s challenging not to be able to see the whole experience through, but it’s fun to be part of the excitement leading up to an individual or group traveling to Tanzania for the first time.   It’s also really wonderful to be able to read some of their experiences in the debrief forms that they complete at the end of their trip, and see how they want to remain connected to JBFC after their trip.
The advice I would give to anyone traveling to our campus for the first time is to view it as an adventure.  Try to not to go into with too many preconceptions and just take it in moment by moment. 
Of course, if anyone is interested in getting more involved with JBFC, I’d love to work with you here in Tulsa or help you plan a trip to Tanzania!  You can contact Diana at:

Categorized in: , , , ,

This post was written by Mainsprings