Alumni Stories Project

In honor of our 50th Anniversary, we're lifting up the voices of former program participants, volunteers, and staff.  It's a way for us to celebrate all that God has done in and through Harbor House over the past 5 decades.  Some alumni shared their memories through video.  Others shared them through writing.  We hope you're encouraged as you watch or read through each Alumni Story!  

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Bunthy Prum

As a high school student, Bunthy attended youth group at Harbor House in the 1990s.  


Q: What is a favorite memory of your time at Harbor House?

A: During Friday Night Youth Group, we did a scavenger hunt throughout the city of Oakland. I remember how exhilarating and joyful of an adventure it was!


Q: What is something you learned or experienced for the first time at Harbor House?

A: The group running the Friday Night Youth Group were Cal alum who genuinely were living out God’s call to do ministry in Oakland and were doing life together, living together, and supporting each other in their outreaches.


Q: What's the biggest way Harbor House impacted your life?

A: Harbor House was a safe, consistent space to be surrounded by loving Christian adults who felt the call for urban ministry. It was also a fun environment to hang out with other teens!


Q: What are you up to these days?

A: I'm a Social Worker, LCSW, at a SF-based hospital working with vulnerable adults, homeless, and the elderly population.

Irene Koshik

Irene Koshik taught English as a Second Language classes at Harbor House in the 1980s. She's known around here as the one who developed high quality English language classes for adults and her impact is still felt today.


Q: What is a favorite memory of your time at Harbor House?

A: Teaching English to Mienh and Cambodian adults and getting to know them and their families.


Q: What is something you learned or experienced for the first time at Harbor House?

A: I learned about Mienh and Cambodian cultures and world views and what they suffered during the war. I also learned new perspectives on Christian faith and the spiritual world from Mienh and Cambodian Christians.


Q: What are you up to these days?

A: I'm retired faculty from the Department of Linguistics at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. I taught primarily in the TESL program, teaching conversation analysis and intercultural communication and training students to teach English to speakers of other languages. 

Lai Woudstra

Lai was a program participant at Harbor House in the 1980s and 1990s.


Q: What is a favorite memory of your time at Harbor House?

A: Field trips to various places in the Bay Area.


Q: What is something you learned or experienced for the first time at Harbor House?

A: I learned that God loves me and I can do whatever I set my mind to with His help.


Q: What is the biggest way Harbor House impacted your life?

A: Harbor House was key in helping me break the cycle of poverty and illiteracy in my family. The love and support I received from Mary Biasotti (Girls Group Leader/Mentor) and other staff members gave me the confidence to pursue my dreams. The Bible studies I attended also helped build a strong foundation in God's word.


Q: What are you up to these days?

A: I live in Brentwood and I teach ESL at Antioch and Acalanes Adult Schools.

Anh Le

Anh was a member of our Youth Leadership Program while he was a high school student at Oakland High in 2017 and 2018.


Q: What is a favorite memory of your time at Harbor House?

A: A favorite memory was when my fellow summer counselors and I took a group of students to Fairyland. Even though I grew up in Oakland, it was my first time going to Fairyland.  It was a memorable experience because I bonded with the kids through the fun rides and games.


Q: What's something you learned or experienced for the first time at Harbor House?

A: Something I experienced for the first time at Harbor House was the idea of being a part of a community. Prior to Harbor House, I never realized how interconnected we are and how my actions could make a difference in my community. We are better together. Being with the kids, my peers, and the staff at Harbor House will always be invaluable to me. 


Q: What's the biggest way that Harbor House impacted your life?

A: The biggest impact Harbor House had on my life was the lifelong relationships I built with the people I met through this amazing organization. Harbor House has been the setting of many fond memories, such as going to Fairyland or a ranch with my close friends.  Without this common cause, I would have not been able to develop such strong bonds with amazing people. I am grateful to all of the staff members at Harbor House for watching me grow during my time there and providing me support whenever possible. 


Q: What are you up to these days?

A: I am currently in my fourth year at San Diego State University studying Nursing. I am working hard with my clinical classes and I currently have an internship at UCSD Jacobs Medical Center where I am actively providing direct bedside nursing care to patients.