Student Attends White House Briefing

January 07, 2015

Columbia International University student Bridget Deline attended the African American Faith Leader’s Briefing hosted in September by the White House Office of Public Engagement.

Held at The White House, Deline heard from officials representing The White House as well as the departments of Justice, Health and Human Services, Labor, and the Small Business Administration.

Deline, who lives in Columbia, is pursuing a Master of Arts degree in Intercultural Studies with a certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL). She has also developed a faith-based non-profit organization, Family Empowerment Program, designed to meet the needs of single parents living in low-income housing in Columbia. 

She says she was “ecstatic” to have been among faith leaders from across the country invited to Washington to discuss ways to partner with the White House to make a difference in American communities. She says she is especially interested in President Barak Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) initiative.

“I asked for the Lord’s guidance and was led to partner with the president’s initiative and local municipalities in the Columbia area to meet the MBK Community Challenge,” Deline said. “In collaboration with President Obama, I will help to ensure that all youth, particularly boys and young men of color, have opportunities to improve their life outcomes and overcome barriers to success.”

Deline says she developed the idea for her Family Empowerment Program years ago, but it was “birthed” while conducting an ethnographic study for her Understanding Culture and Worldviews course, taught by CIU Intercultural Studies professor Dr. David Cashin.

In addition to the White House invitation, Deline was among other Columbia faith leaders who attended a Faith Leadership Breakfast with Vice President Joe Biden in Columbia in October.

After graduation, Deline plans to “lovingly evangelize” international students in the United States as she continues building the Family Empowerment Program.