Claudia Martinez Patino, G’19, Master of Arts in Christian Ministry and Master of Nonprofit Administration
“I began at North Park as a dual degree MACM/MBA international student, but a former classmate, who has 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, helped me realize and accept my gift and calling to serve in the humanitarian & development field so I switched to the MACM/MNA dual degree program! Now, I am back home in Medellin, Colombia working for a humanitarian aid organization that is headquartered in Chicago.
“Being an intern for University Ministries and an advisor for the Latin American Student Organization impacted not only my career, but my life holistically. I’m still honored that so many students saw me as a mentor, a spiritual director, and an example for students of color, especially for Latina Women and international students.
“At NPU, I represented the Spanish voice during the president’s inauguration, I gave the blessing in the 2020 graduating ceremony, and I preached for the first time fully in English, which is my second language. These memories will be in my heart forever.
“I am a first-generation student with a master’s degree, and I did it abroad, with all the effort and sacrifices that means. I didn’t walk for graduation in December 2019 so my parents were planning to attend in May, but the pandemic changed all our plans, and they couldn’t make it. My diplomas were sent to my house in Colombia. My mom received the diplomas, right before the international border was closed, as a special gift and surprise.
“NPU allowed me to be able to be who I was meant to be. To heal, to learn, to grow and do what I love to do.”