Welcome Jonathan Helder!
We are thrilled to welcome Jonathan Helder, advancement director, to All Belong’s team! Jonathan has a background in fundraising and finance and has a deeply rooted passion for our mission. We invite you to learn more about him in the below post. Welcome Jonathan!
Although I didn’t realize it then, as an elementary school student at Seymour Christian School (Grand Rapids, MI) in the early 1990’s, I was part of something ground-breaking. At the time, I assumed that all classrooms were places of belonging and inclusion.
I assumed that the meaningful relationships I built within my Circle of Friends were as common as any other relationship I may have.
Little did I know that even back then the inclusion efforts of All Belong were shaping my worldview and impacting my vision of what true community looks like.
Throughout my life, God has blessed me with many meaningful relationships that reinforce the importance of All Belong’s work to create inclusive communities. Several of my friends live with various physical, emotional, and intellectual disabilities.
These relationships highlight the importance of All Belong’s mission to glorify God through purposeful, innovative inclusion of persons with varied abilities.
In addition, my wife Emily, a clinical psychologist who teaches at Calvin College, has helped me to see the tremendous impact that educational assessments can have on the life of a child and their learning community. This deep understanding of children is a key part of All Belong’s efforts. Lastly, I come from a family of several educators who have served at All Belong partner schools and have personally experienced the benefits of inclusive education.
Today, I continue to be blessed by many of All Belong’s partners. My daughter, Lily, is a first grader at Grand Rapids Christian Elementary and enjoys the same inclusive education that I was privileged to be a part of. My family and I attend Grace Christian Reformed Church where we’ve experienced the blessing of worshiping with individuals with varied abilities.
That is why I am so excited to join the All Belong team and its purposeful and innovative work.
Together, we can continue to increase the impact of All Belong so that future generations will assume inclusion and belonging are the standard, not the exception.
Passionate about inclusive education? Make a contribution to All Belong to help us create inclusive communities for persons of all abilities.