Lighthouse Volunteer Tryphena Supan

Lighthouse Volunteer Tryphena Supan

Meet Tryphena Supan, one of our most passionate and committed volunteers at The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc.

Tryphena was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya where her parents, Hong Kong natives, served as missionaries for more than 20 years. She came to the U.S. as an international student for college, attending Taylor University in Indiana studying Biology. She continued her education at Indiana Wesleyan to pursue Nursing, working one year in Indianapolis at a rehabilitation center as a Registered Nurse.

It was toward the end of her schooling that Tryphena attempted many avenues to gain residency to work in the United States, but each led to a dead end. Feeling very discouraged, a professor of hers suggested she speak with an Army recruiter. That year, 2009, the U.S. military happened to have a pilot program where they were looking for foreigners with legal status who had healthcare or cultural and language skills, and Tryphena, meeting the healthcare qualification, joined the United States Army. This allowed her to become a U.S. citizen by expediting the ability to apply for and take the citizenship exam in six months rather than wait the ten years most people, including her parents, have to wait.

Tryphena served five years in the United States Army as an officer and nurse. While stationed at Fort Gordon in Georgia she met her husband Matt at church. Matt just happened to be at Fort Gordon for his Captain’s career course.

Upon moving to Seattle in June 2017, Tryphena desired to find ways to serve in her community. She found the Lighthouse on one of her neighborhood walks and has been volunteering ever since, coming in twice a week to provide data entry and office support. She has also helped at events such as the Redefining Vision Garden Party and our most recent “Get To Know” the Lighthouse event.

When not volunteering with us, there’s a good chance she’s traveling abroad. In July, Tryphena served overseas on a medical mission’s trip to Zambia and now awaits her next opportunity. She and her husband will be journeying to Israel in October for their own personal growth. There’s no doubt that Tryphena has received her servant heart from her parents who continue their missions work, serving in North Africa for over ten years.

Tryphena has a huge heart and exudes a contagious joy wherever she goes. We are so very grateful Tryphena found the Lighthouse and that she chooses each week to give her valuable time to support people who are blind, DeafBlind, and blind with other disabilities.