As the InterVarsity Pink House Associate Director, Sarah is passionate about her work in raising up fellow urban leaders and impacting the community of Fresno. She also does this through her work in the Lowell neighborhood as director of the Wise Old Owl tutoring program, through Youth for Christ. As a woman of color with a love of biblical justice, Sarah is equipping students for working with and considering perspectives from diverse backgrounds. Her experience as a second generation Mexican American from a small farming town, Reedley, helps her empower other indigenous leaders and challenge majority culture leaders. A graduate from Fresno Pacific University with a degree in Psychology and Sociology, she brings skills and abilities to understand students’ experiences and deepen students’ knowledge of biblical community. In her free time, one can find Sarah hanging out with her family and looking for the perfect ice cream flavor.
Karl Gurney has been directing the Pink House for two years and is thrilled to start this new year with the house’s upcoming cohort of student leaders. He previously worked as a campus minister with InterVarsity at two community colleges and is coming into his sixth year of staff with IVCF. Karl graduated from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo with a degree in Environmental Management, and so brings a passion for stewardship and awareness of the earth’s natural resources, as well as a healthy trivial knowledge of our local ecosystem’s flora and fauna. Karl also brings experience in Latino student ministries with LaFe, and seeks to see students formed in their understanding of their own ethnic identity with a hope for cultural influence and reconciliation. When he’s not busy engaging the neighborhood, Karl can be found with his head buried in his philosophy and theology readings, as well as perusing for the next big thing in music over a good cup of strong coffee.
Jessica is a rural Oklahoman Mennonite girl turned urban Fresno ecumenical woman. Jessica grew up in central Oklahoma, moved to Fresno at age fourteen, and fell in love with the town within a few weeks of her move. She graduated from Fresno Pacific University with a degree in Biblical and Religious Studies and a minor in Peacemaking and Conflict Studies. After graduating, Jessica went on to participate in the Pink House, came to love downtown Fresno more specifically, and grew passionate for community development and exploring the intersection of faith and justice. Before joining InterVarsity staff as Pink House director, six years after her time as a student, Jessica spend time as a youth pastor and middle school teacher while living in the downtown and Lowell neighborhoods. She has a passion for growing people and empowering young leaders, and is excited to do that work now with young adults in a context where they are challenged to examine both faith and self in the context of community. Apart from celebrating the justice and shalom of the Kingdom of God, Jessica’s favorite day would involve riding bikes with her husband Erik to a good Fresno coffeeshop to spend time reading, writing, and daydreaming about how much she loves her two cats.