Hello, my name is Naomi Terlouw and I am excited to introduce myself! A little about me: I was born and raised in Minnesota and received my BA in Reconciliation Studies in 2008 at Bethel University in St. Paul. I went on to receive my MSW in 2014 at the University of Michigan’s School of Social Work. My passion for social work, advocating for human rights, and grassroots community organizing was initially formed from my previous travels and work abroad. In 2007, I was blessed to be able to spend four months of my undergraduate degree in Cape Town, South Africa learning extensively about the country’s tumultuous history of Apartheid and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
From 2009 to 2011, I had the incredible opportunity to spend two years in the United States Peace Corps living in rural Morocco and organizing alongside host country nationals around the area of women’s pre and postnatal health. During this time, I worked with a local traditional birth attendant to develop and provide classes for women to receive pregnancy education. In the summer of 2014, I returned once again to South Africa for an internship through my graduate university. I spent three months back in Cape Town providing individualized psychosocial support sessions with teachers employed by a nonprofit, community-based foster care organization in the township of Khayelitsha.
Through my graduate studies, I also received a nine month internship developing social programs with Chaldean immigrants and refugees living in Southeast Michigan. After receiving my MSW in December 2014, I lived and worked for one year in Mankato, MN with Prairie Community Services as Program Director developing programs, managing a team of staff, and working with Interdisciplinary Teams in order to ensure the continuous supervision, care and safety of vulnerable adults and children.
I became the Executive Director for North Side Pregnancy Options at the beginning of May, and I feel extremely blessed by the path God has taken me on and where he has brought me to. I am excited to be a part of the North Side team and am thankful for all of you as you continue to support us in our life-affirming mission for North Minneapolis!