Alumni Profile

Dawn Van Kuiken

Discovering your career calling might be closer than you think, but sometimes taking the first steps is the hardest part. Dawn Van Kuiken, a 2010 graduate, can testify to this step-by-step process. But her willingness to faithfully follow Christ's leading, paired with a quality education, pointed her toward Sekolah Pelita Harapan, a private Christian school in Indonesia.

Dawn graduated with a B.A. in elementary education. Looking back, she says the education she received at Dordt College prepared her well for her job and helped her find direction.

When a sophomore in college, Dawn traveled to Belize with AMOR (A Mission OutReach), a Dordt-sponsored mission trip offered to students over Christmas break. Following that trip, Dawn felt a growing passion for teaching overseas, which led her to apply and interview for numerous overseas teaching positions during her senior year.

But Dawn felt discouraged. None of the job opportunities really tugged at her heart. Then in October, Dawn's professor encouraged her to have an informal lunch with the founders of Sekolah Pelita Harapan, who were visiting Dordt's campus from Indonesia. They presented a school with a dedication to Christian education more genuine than she had ever seen before. And that's when she knew where she had to go after graduation: Indonesia.

From the consistently rainy weather to the lack of pizza and pretzels, almost everything about life in Indonesia is different from life in the Midwest. Students from diverse religious backgrounds fill her classroom, including Muslim, Hindu, atheist, Catholic, Christian, agnostic, and Buddhist. Despite all the differences, Dawn is convinced God's faithful leading brought her from Cedar Lake, Indiana, to Dordt College to a classroom in Indonesia filled with students hungry for the truth.