By Jennifer Alafranji, Community Outreach and Event Manager
I first met Kim-Fredrik Schneider at Grand May Day a few years back. He was one of the first people to arrive at our Alumni Reunion and what struck me was his introduction. He looked me directly in the eyes, shook my hand and flashed a warm smile.
“Hello, my name is Kim-Fredrik from the Class of ’97. I just flew in from Barcelona and I’m waiting for my classmates to arrive.”
I stood before Kim-Fredrik and replied with a smile, “Welcome home, it’s so nice to meet you.”
A sincere and heartfelt handshake is quite possibly the first thing Waldorf teachers teach our children. In a school setting, the morning handshake and its greeting is a form of collecting. A teacher’s warmth, concern, and recognition conveys that the teacher cares about the child and will seek to meet his needs at school.
Over the years I have stayed in touch with Kim-Fredrik. Most recently we reconnected regarding an article in Forbes Magazine (March 13, 2020) that featured the company Kim-Fredrik co-founded, ABI. Currently, ABI is at the global forefront fighting the coronavirus via a mobile messaging system by providing micro-medical consultations. ABI services also can be accessed when traveling or studying abroad.
Next year my daughter, Mariam Alafranji, (Class of 2018) will be studying in Morocco and using ABI’s services. What a relief for me that connecting with a medical professional is as simple as a quick text.
Kim-Fredrik continues to reside in Barcelona with his family and his children attend the local Barcelona Waldorf School, which is currently closed due to the coronavirus. My most recent communication from Kim-Fredrik included a reflection on his time at Sacramento Waldorf School:
I spent 14 years at the Sacramento Waldorf School: in the White Rose Kindergarten with Eva Kudar and Catherine Friedland, in the Lower School with Margaret Preston and Marianne Gray (my second mother!) as class teachers; and four years of High School with a diversity of excellent specialist teachers, including current teachers Sherry Hirssig and the inimitable Dean Stark.
My work is deeply informed by my education at SWS. Building holistic solutions, seeking unique perspectives, grounding important decisions on a moral foundation: these are all lessons I learned at SWS which have had a profound impact on the creation and global expansion of my business.
Blessings to Kim-Fredrik and his family, and to our extended Alumni Family, near and far, for all you are doing to make the world a better place!