Caroline, Charles, mother Lenore, Betsy, & Roger HaleThe Hale family donates $50,000 to establish ARI’s Graduate Outreach Position.
In December 2015, the Hale family siblings, Betsy, Charles, Roger, and Caroline, donated $50,000 from the estate of their parents to AFARI to establish a new position at ARI — the Graduate Outreach Coordinator. Their parents had left part of their estate for the siblings to distribute to organizations that they felt were doing exceptional work in the areas of peace, equity, education, and the environment. Betsy, the eldest and the leader of their effort, approached AFARI Executive Director J.B. Hoover with this possible opportunity.
Together, they hit on the idea of addressing a great need at ARI which also was in the spirit of the thinking and values of their parents. Betsy’s knowledge of ARI and its graduates came from personal experience. She hosted four ARI graduates on separate occasions for ten-week stints while they attended the iLEAP training program in Seattle. “They were stellar individuals who carried what they learned back to their communities,” remarked Betsy.
. Betsy visited ARI in September of 2013 for its 40th anniversary. While there, she joined several small group discussions with ARI graduates from around the world who spoke about what they had learned during the nine-month course. She remembers passionate discussions about the importance of youth continuing to farm, of the challenges of convincing communities to value organic agriculture, and of the threats of extractive industries contaminating farmland. For the brief time she was at ARI she joined the Foodlife Work teams and created meals from food grown on the campus.
In choosing grants she and her siblings look for authentic and strong leadership. She observed those qualities in how Ms. Tomoko Arakawa directs ARI and how J.B. Hoover leads AFARI.
In 2016, ARI established the Graduate Outreach (GO) position and in 2018 hired Steven Cutting. There are three expected positive impacts from this position: making curriculum more relevant, increasing numbers of quality applicants and supporting Graduates to be more effective in their work.
As to the impact already made by the GO position, Director Tomoko-san reflects:
I believe that establishing the GO position brought ARI into a new phase. Through the GO’s critical work, the graduates are now visible to all the staff, volunteers, and other ARI-related people. We feel close to them because we know what they are doing. Already we see that the increased knowledge about the challenges and opportunities graduates experience in their communities helps make our curriculum more relevant. I really appreciate the Hale family because the grant was offered at the right time and contributed to the birth of Graduate Outreach.