Thank you for the opportunity to serve you as the East District Associate Lay Leader!
As Wesley learned from his mother, religion is not closed up in the church, it is not only experienced through prayer. We are in God’s presence everywhere. Like Wesley, I have experienced that with the presence of God comes an inner desire to care for others and a responsibility for social action.
I started attending St. Matthew United Methodist Church in elementary school and currently attend Dayspring United Methodist Church. In high school, my volunteer activities included weekly trips with my church to serve food to migrant workers. I continued my passion to serve others through a variety of international mission trips, including Give Ye Them to Eat in Mexico, Vacation Bible School in Colombia, and Hope for the Hopeless in Ethiopia. I met my husband, Ray Bolkan, when he was living in Prescott and went on the same mission trip to Ethiopia.
As a teen, I began participating in church committees through the Conference Council on Youth Ministries and since then, have served on a variety of local church and conference committees. I am honored to have been elected as the third lay delegate for General/Jurisdictional Conferences in 2020.
On a professional level, I serve as the CEO of AZCEND, a local nonprofit that helps people as they move from crisis to stability and ultimately to prosperity. Working in nonprofit leadership positions for almost 20 years, my areas of focus have included hunger and homelessness, early childhood, senior programs, financial stability, domestic violence, and youth development. As a Chandler City Council Member for eight years, I participated in the municipal legislative process and represented the City on a regional and national level in areas of human services, transportation, water, and sustainability. I also serve as a Regional Council Member for First Things First, which works with families and communities to support the healthy development and learning of children from birth to age 5.
After graduating from Chandler High School, I received a bachelor’s degree in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, and a master’s degree in Sociology – both from Stanford University. Ray and I enjoy spending time with our two daughters who are 2 and 4 years old.
I look forward to working with you as one of your East District Lay Leaders!