Meet Kristi Pereira, WHRI’s new Education Director. Kristi is originally from Palestine, TX, and has lived in Waco since 2007. She graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University, and has been teaching until recently. Her most recent teaching experience was with Rapoport Academy, where she taught middle school language arts, art, and journalism.
Kristi and her husband, Hermann have two children, Hudson (2008) and Ruby (2011). Hermann is a local Spanish teacher at Connally High School.
Kristi enjoys reading, knitting, tending to her tiny garden and backyard chickens, as well as quality time with friends and family.
Here’s Kristi’s introduction:
“I grew up in East Texas surrounded by agriculture, which I mostly took for granted, and especially so after leaving for college. I just never felt a connection to it, until recently, even though it was a large part of my upbringing. I certainly never thought I would be working on a farm! My interests leaned more towards coaching and teaching and I was convinced I would be doing those two things for the remainder of my career.
After graduating from college, I spent a summer in Connecticut working with youth, and doing some inner city homeless ministry. It was that summer experience that gave me a broader view of the world and the hurting people within it, but there was very little action on my part. In the years to come I did enjoy several years of coaching and teaching, but once again there was a shift in perspective upon moving to Waco with my husband Hermann in 2007. My eyes were opened to poverty that I had simply ignored for too long. I continued teaching, eventually finding my way to Rapoport Academy. Located in East Waco, Rapoport Aacademy was a very different educational setting than I would have chosen at the beginning of my career. There, administrators and mentors encouraged hands-on learning and community involvement, where I was exposed to some of the great work being done in Waco, including that being done by WHRI. During my years at Rapoport Academy, I had my son Hudson, and daughter, Ruby. Even though we experienced this major life transition, I continued to feel a stirring to advocate for those in need in some capacity. I also began to develop an interest in urban gardening, which has been an ongoing opportunity to return to my early roots. I believe all of these intersections in my life have led me to WHRI. I am thrilled to work alongside a community who answered their own inner stirrings to help those in need, and draw upon the compassion and wisdom which is so evident in those who live and work at the farm. Praise be to Him for new perspectives and new beginnings.”