Italian team – week 1. Our camp volunteers many of whom are now scattered across Europe, agreed to come and help serve Ukrainian refugee children now residing in Italy. Being refugees themselves, they have found energy and resources to come and serve others.
Katie Bonawitz first visited Ukraine with her husband, Luke, for three months in 2021 during her sabbatical. Her focus was in the area of disabilities. They served at Camp Maximum during the Family Camp helping parents of children with disabilities. Katie went on to provide workshops and seminars across Ukraine for educators and professionals who serve children with disabilities. Although Katie’s sabbatical was through Bethel University, her work directly connected with Shepherd’s Foundation’s Mission and a very strong partnership was established with Vitaliy and Camp Maximum. Katie and Vitaliy did several speaking engagements together and in Spring 2022, even co-presented at a virtual National Inclusion Conference through Cherkasy National University. Recently, in 2022, Katie began to serve on the Shepherd’s Foundation Board.
Katie has a background in disability education and has been the Program Director of the MA Special Education program at Bethel since 2007. Additionally, she is the Assistant Dean of the Center for Access & Integration, also at Bethel.
In her free time, Katie enjoys traveling, cooking, and biking with her husband, Luke. She currently resides in St. Paul, Minnesota.