Meet the Mentors: Kelly and Stacey Shepherd

April 10, 2024  •  Author: marketing

Make Everyone Feel Special

If you ask any student on campus to describe Kelly and Stacey Shepherd, their words would be similar to those of Naomi, a student from Peru: “Kelly and Stacey always have a smile on their faces. I don’t know how they do it, but they remember all our names and make us feel very special. I am grateful to have their example of leadership at Cumorah.” The Shepherds have the talent to make others feel special – they are active listeners and ready to support the silent struggles of our dear students.

Their service mirrors what Cumorah Academy stands for. This incredible and gifted couple has been with us since the fall of 2022, making them the first couple to live on campus with students. Stacey and Kelly have had many incredible experiences interacting with our students in their long journey at Cumorah. “We love that Cumorah provides a safe place and time where people can feel love and learn together,” says the couple. Keep reading to understand why students love them so much.

“Three Months Can Be Transformative”

Kelly and Stacey fell in love with the program when they first heard about it. Their lives reflect their commitment to becoming better people. They have extensive experience teaching and leading young adults: 

Kelly has worked at seminaries and institutes of Religion for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for 37 years – the age of students of Religion ranges from 18 to 33 years, covering the age gap of students who join Cumorah Academy.

Stacey has worked with their family art business on many occasions. Also, she has had countless assignments teaching and leading young adults at church. Needless to say, they are more than prepared for this role at Cumorah Academy.

Since the beginning of 2023, this amazing couple has been working with Cumorah Academy. They both spent a whole year at the Czech Republic Campus as Student Life Directors, focusing on the students, staff, interns, and the campus structure itself. Now, Kelly is Cumorah Academy’s CLO (Chief Learning Officer) and continues to provide support to the new Presidents of the Campus and manage several other needs related to the learning sphere at Cumorah Academy.

A Place for Love and Respect

“I feel their genuine love for me and everyone around them every time I am in the same room with them. It’s tangible,” says our intern Rebecca Livingston from the USA. Stacey and Kelly have this God-given talent to share love and kindness. They do their best to emulate Christ’s love for our students. They serve with them, teach with them, and learn with them.

It’s important to remember that Cumorah Academy is a place where we can feel love, respect, and kindness. Learning without love is similar to faith without work. And Kelly and Stacey Shepherd play a vital role in this goal: to support our students in whatever they need. Countless students arrive on campus with terrible experiences in the past, where they didn’t feel loved at all. So when they step on campus, the spirit of the environment comforts them.

Special Children of God

After all that has been said, what is one thing that Kelly and Stacey want every student to know and feel once they leave campus?

“We hope that our current and past students know that God loves us. But the way we feel love is by loving others. When they leave three months later, knowing that God loves them that there is hope, and that other people love them. No matter where they go and what they do, they’re no longer alone,” says the couple joyfully.

Their words reflect what is said in the Holy Scriptures when the Lord says He loves us with unconditional love (see John 3:16; Romans 8:35-39). Kelly and Stacey’s ultimate goal is to ensure that every single student, from the past, present, and future, feels the love of God in their lives, and that they are no longer alone. They want all students to feel what Taynara, a student from Brazil, said:

“Even just after a couple of days, you can feel how much they care about us and how eager they are to see us succeed both personally and professionally.”

Judging by the students’ words, we can say that Kelly and Stacey are fulfilling their purpose very well.

To read more stories, check our Blog Page.

Watch Stacie and Kelly’s testimonial:

Written by Fernando L. Ferreira Jr. Supports by Delton Sambo.

Supervision: Kamila Uberto Fullmer.