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.

  • KCU first-year med students participate in day of service

    7 hours ago
    by

    Northeast News July 27, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – First year medical students at Kansas City University of Medicine and […]


    McCaskill visits KC Health Department, hosts roundtable discussion on opioid addiction

    22 hours ago
    by

    Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri – The state of Missouri has become the #1 state in the Midwest for opiate prescriptions, according to U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, but bipartisan legislation


    29-year-old KC man charged in severe beating of child

    22 hours ago
    by

    Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri-A 29-year-old Kansas City man stands accused of Domestic Assault in the First Degree in the vicious beating of a five-year-old boy.
    A $200,000 bond was requested


    Northeast’s August 2 Primary Election Preview

    22 hours ago
    by

    Northeast News MO Senate District 11
    John Rizzo – D John Rizzo – D Top priorities: Economic development, education, and protecting worker’s rights Endorsements: Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, Former State Senator Victor


    City Union Mission donating back to school outfits

    July 26th, 2016
    by

    By Michaela Bishop Northeast News July 26, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – On July 25th, City Union Mission started giving […]


  • Officers under fire in the Northeast

    July 26th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News July 26, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Kansas City Police officers who responded to a call early Monday […]


    Columbus Park property owner halts demolition, working to save partially collapsed structure

    July 26th, 2016
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News July 26, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – The saga of 523 Campbell Street continues. Back […]


    Community volunteers, CORO KC combine to clean up Northeast

    July 23rd, 2016
    by

    Northeast News July 23, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – A group of community volunteers teamed up with interns from Park […]


    Light rail proposal making its way to November ballot

    July 20th, 2016
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News July 20, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – A light rail ordinance passed through the KCMO […]


    Kansas City Council unanimously approves $7 million for 18th and Vine revitalization

    July 19th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri – After 49 days of discussion, an amended version of the 18th and Vine Historic District redevelopment plan earned unanimous approval from the KCMO City


  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    Troost Lake connects to streetcar, Mormon histories

    Northeast News Opening to the public in 1888, Troost Park and adjoining Troost Lake were the ideas of the Kansas City Cable Railway Company (later known as the Kansas City

    chronicles

    James “Jim” George Cariddi On Friday, July 15, 2016, former principal James Cariddi passed away due to complications of a stroke at St.

    retorts illustrated bryan stalder

    retorts illustrated bryan stalder [...]

  • [Advertisement.]