Community Partner: Kathy Hendrickson and Southwest Detours

Kathy Hendrickson never misses a Cultural Day Show. She finds something surprising or poignant every time she attends and she appreciates that the students are so pleased to share stories about their countries. A true friend of the school, Kathy gives tours of the Castle and the Dwan Light Sanctuary through her company, Southwest Detours, to visitors from across the country and around the world.

Each year Kathy donates the proceeds from two of her biggest tours – large groups from Santa Fe – toward scholarships at UWC-USA. Her relationship with the school is more than a partnership, however. She believes in the mission and is one of the best Get-Away Family moms the school has ever seen. “It’s a very rewarding experience meeting these students from all over the world,” Kathy says. “We get to learn their customs and they get to learn ours; it’s a lot of fun. But what I most enjoy is hearing about their life experiences. We are so insulated here in the U.S. Many of these students come from very different countries – some from places where getting by is very challenging. Listening to them tell stories about their lives helps us see that the world is bigger than Montezuma or the U.S.

Andrii Bezman ’18 came to UWC-USA from the Ukraine in 2016 and felt a little unsure of himself when he arrived. He attributes both Kathy’s tremendous support as a Get-Away Family and her welcoming home as an important part of his success in Montezuma.

“It’s actually astonishing the number of people who know about UWC-USA because of Kathy’s efforts and our partnership with Southwest Detours,” says Carl-Martin Nelson, UWC-USA’s director of marketing and communications. “Kathy speaks eloquently to the UWC mission and is so enthusiastic about our students and the program that visitors start to feel the same excitement.”

“The people who come on my tours are fascinated by the history of the Montezuma Castle,” Kathy explains. “But when they get here, they often are even more intrigued by the school and the UWC mission. I love introducing hundreds of people every year to the school – and I always encourage families from Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico to consider the Get-Away Family program.”

More information about the Get-Away Family program is available on the UWC-USA website.

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