Monica Zherebnenko has been interning with us remotely for the past month and it’s been a joy to have her on the team. Read our recent interview and get to know her!
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
Hello! My name is Monica Zherebnenko! I usually tend to start off my introductions the same, sharing that I am the youngest of nine children. Out of the nine of us, only myself and my brother (who is two years older) were born in America. I have six brothers and two sisters. My older siblings and parents immigrated from Siberia in the 1990s. Through my childhood and growth into an adult, I have gained different perspectives of the world through my parents. I act differently than most of my peers because of the experiences my family has from learning to navigate in this new world.
From a young age I have been fascinated with photography since one of my brothers used to take classes. As I became older with more opportunities to take different classes, I dove into all sorts of creative writing and literature courses. It is through my years in high school that my passion for photojournalism came to life. God shaped me as a person behind the lens and behind a piece of paper. Along the way this passion led me to combine my joy for working with children. Having been in children’s ministry for several years, I believed it was a perfect fit.
I eventually was led by some guidance from my counselor to come to Multnomah University to pursue more education beyond my certification. Now, I am a student majoring in Global Studies.
How do you dream of being part of sustainable change around the world?
I dream to bring the truth to the world. I dream of sharing the hearts of people in a way that is honoring to them and myself. By partnering with others in ways of respect and love, I know this can build a strong and sustainable change. If we come together I know it can be done. I want to use my abilities to share the abilities of others. I want to spread God’s beauty through what He has blessed me with.
What’s one thing that keeps you up at night, something that puts a fire in your heart?
The lack of understanding and empathy that people have for others. There is a divide with many people who cannot sit back in awe and wonder of God. We misinterpret how we should love one another, and I see this everywhere I go. It tugs at my heart every single day how there is such a lack of love and understanding. It breaks my heart. This is something I wish everyone could truly see.
What have you learned so far in your internship with Loom?
What I have learned is the importance of support and communication. If we are not communicating with one another there is a great divide on what is to be done, but also how someone may feel. Clearly discussing these matters is essential. The same goes for support. We should always come together with the mindset of deep care and supportive goals that allow for people to feel comforted. I see this a lot in how Loom engages with those on the field and those right here at home. There are a lot of connections and beauty within the process. It has been a joy for me to learn more about and see with my own eyes.