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FYI's Word of 2023

“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”

Colossians 4:5-6


For the past several years, FYI members have been encouraged to choose a word for the year to focus on to help them become the best version of themselves. Staff, board members, and volunteers write their words on a whiteboard for everyone to see.


It’s always very encouraging to watch the “Word of the Year” board fill up each year. It adds another dimension to how FYI can understand, support, and pray for each other. The board and all the words written there are a physical representation of each person’s hopes or struggles or needs.


This year, the word FYI has chosen to represent 2023 is “grace.” We would like to encourage all of you to think of and select a word that exemplifies 2023 to you. The process of choosing a word can help you determine your goals and highlight the steps you want to take throughout the next year. It also helps you determine your priorities and where you should focus your energy, time, and resources.


While selecting FYI’s word for this year, Executive Director, Nikki Stefanow had a completely different word in mind before some guidance and advice led her in another direction.

“My mom mentioned how difficult it must be for our team to meet the needs of those we serve and not take it home with us every day. It takes so much empathy to come alongside those who are struggling. As I was praying about a new word, FYI Board Member, Sharon Smith sent me a Merry Christmas text that said she was looking forward to a year full of love, laughter, and “GRACE”. I knew instantly that that was the word. I realized that everything we do requires grace – from directing students, to empowering parents, to interacting with our coworkers. Grace will make the organization and therefore, us, better. And that’s what our word is all about, making us the best version of us we can be,” shared Nikki.


Some of the words the FYI staff members have selected are:

“Understanding” - Carole Cowles

“Intentional” - Jessica Jaimez

“Light” - Della Fell

“Gracious” - Rebecca Swearingen

“Courage” - Lindsay Rapp

“Trust” - Julie Daniel

“Embrace” - Erica Stefanow

"Reflection" - Diana

“Mercy” - Sharon Smith

“Empower” - Amber Hargett

“Stoicism” - Cindy Summerfield

“Heal” - Staci Sowders

"Invest" - Brenda

“Happiness” - Alison Deady

“Accept” - Nikki Stefanow

“Confidence” - Jennifer Kennedy

“Take Heart” - Vika Fader

Is there a word on our list that resonates with you? Do you have another word that you hope will encourage you throughout 2023? We would love to hear from you so that we can add you to our prayer list. Will you add FYI to your prayer list as well?


We wish you all a happy and healthy year, filled with lots of grace!

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