Don Bosco welcomes new executive director

By LESLIE COLLINS
Northeast News
May 15, 2013

Growing up in a family with 9 other siblings meant life was always interesting.

“It was a blast,” Mo Orpin said. “I have nothing but great memories from my childhood.”

Earlier this year, Orpin became the executive director of The Don Bosco Centers, taking over for Torre Nigro who now serves as executive director volunteer.

Orpin grew up in Fairway, Kan., and recalls playing with paper dolls, hunting for arrow heads near the Shawnee Indian Mission Museum and performing in original family plays.

 

Mo-Orpin

Mo Orpin

 

Every Christmas, she and her siblings would perform the Nativity Story in front of family members or create plays about specific family members. During the summer, she and her siblings would rally the neighborhood kids together to perform original plays in the backyard. Their costumes ranged from old prom dresses to scrubs to nun habits.

“We just did a lot of family stuff together,” she said.

Neighbors still participate in the Turkey Bowl, a Thanksgiving Day football game, which her family started years ago.

Her parents taught her the value of integrity, of the Golden Rule and the importance of helping others in need.

“Both my parents have very giving hearts and raised each of us to reach out to others whenever we could, and to have fun,” she said.

Orpin graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in education and a minor in English. For a year-and-a-half she taught at St. Augustus in Kansas City, Mo., and then worked at her former grade school, St. Agnes in Roeland Park, for 20 years as a  teacher, vice principal and fundraiser organizer. Later, she was contracted to organize fundraisers for a variety of non-profit organizations.

While at St. Agnes, she led the Stewardship Club for the junior high youth and would raise money and perform service projects for area charities. She took her students to visit the shut-ins of the parish and the students also made construction paper prayer chains. During the Christmas season, they would go caroling and give gifts and grocery cards to struggling families and individuals.

“It was cool for the kids. It instilled in them to give back and that they can make a difference,” she said.

Orpin learned about Don Bosco through Don Bosco Fund Development Director Leslie Gasser, who lives in the same neighborhood. Another connection is Don Bosco Senior Center’s Director Anne Miller, whose son attends St. Agnes.

When Orpin visited Don Bosco’s Senior Center and the English as a Second Language (ESL) program, she said both programs impressed her.

The director of the ESL program began sharing success stories and Orpin stood amazed. Then, he began talking about a Somalian family who recently moved to the U.S. after living in a refugee camp for 22 years.

“It was just like, ‘This is amazing,’” Orpin said. “These people have been living in a refugee camp for that many years; Now, they’re getting that first taste of freedom and Don Bosco is going to help them learn the language and get them assimilated into the community. It really struck me to see them.”

Orpin’s goals for Don Bosco include expanding the youth program to offer after-school programming and a summer camp as well as partnering with area organizations and pooling resources to make Don Bosco’s Work Empowerment Program a success. The program teaches individuals how to apply for jobs, how to keep a job, interview techniques and other life skills. Orpin said she also wants to keep the organization streamlined while it helps to build a strong Northeast community.

When she’s not working, you can find Orpin in the kitchen creating delectable dishes or at sports games taking photographs. She also likes attending plays and concerts and participating in community service projects.

“I love a challenge and I see one ahead because I know I have a lot to learn, but I love to learn new things,” Orpin said of Don Bosco. “I already feel very passionate about the mission of Don Bosco. We tell the board (of directors) it’s easy for us to go out and build our organization when you’re passionate about it.

“We have some rebuilding to do (at Don Bosco), but we are rebuilding in a really positive way. We want everybody to know the great things that are happening at Don Bosco.”

 

 

Comments are closed.

  • PZED Committee moves forward on Northeast housing projects

    7 hours ago
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News May 24, 2017 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Three significant Northeast housing projects are now a […]


    KC Parks and Rec offers free beginning swim lessons

    10 hours ago
    by

    By Abby Cambiano Northeast News May 24, 2017 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – The Kansas City, Missouri Parks and Recreation Department […]


    Northeast Newscast Episode 12 – Park violence and the ongoing GO Bond debate w/ KCMO Parks and Rec Director Mark McHenry

    12 hours ago
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News May 24, 2017 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – This week on the Northeast Newscast, Northeast News […]


    City Plan Commission clears path for two Northeast proposals

    23 hours ago
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News May 24, 2017 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (KCU) […]


    Frontier Schools continue expansion in the Northeast

    23 hours ago
    by

    By Abby Cambiano Northeast News May 24, 2017 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Frontier Schools celebrated their 10th anniversary this year […]


  • Single terminal discussion takes off

    23 hours ago
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News May 24, 2017 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – A Burns & McDonnell proposal to privately finance […]


    NEKC Chamber of Commerce hosts local chefs for cook-off

    May 19th, 2017
    by

    By Abby Cambiano Northeast News May 19, 2017 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Local chefs are gearing up for a food-filled […]


    KCPD annual memorial service honors fallen officers

    May 19th, 2017
    by

    By Abby Cambiano Northeast News May 19, 2017 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – The Kansas City Police Department honored its 119 […]


    Northeast Newscast Episode 11 – A Day in the Life w/ KCMO Illegal Dumping Investigator Alan Ashurst

    May 18th, 2017
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News May 18, 2017 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – We’re back with a special edition of the […]


    LA paints NEKC

    May 18th, 2017
    by

    By Abigail Cambiano Northeast News May 18, 2017 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – A group of heavily tattooed men were found […]


  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    retorts illustrated bryan stalder

    Northeast News May 24, 2017

    The ‘most beautiful’ steel bridge

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News May 24, 2017 In 1936, the American Institute of Steel Construction selected the Hurricane Deck […]

    Board of Police Commissioners hears from public

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News May 17, 2017 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – The Board of Police Commissioners conducted their third […]

  • [Advertisement.]