IPA Alumna Gives Back and Finds True Love

If you don’t believe in serendipity, you just might after reading this ‘Power of Human Kindness’ story.

ISLAND PACIFIC ACADEMY alumna, Elizabeth (Lyons-Best) Holm ’18, chose a college in Portland, Oregon, even though she preferred small town living. However, it’s a good thing she selected University of Portland because it’s where her fairy tale began with a fateful sign she discovered her freshman year.

“On the bulletin board there was a poster for the organization, ‘A Moment of Magic’. It said something along the lines of visiting children and being a Disney character. I was like, oh my gosh, this is exactly what I wanted to do,” said Holm. At IPA, Holm imagined herself working as a Disney princess if being a teacher didn’t work out and it’s even documented in the 2017 yearbook!

One of the National Honor Society service projects she organized at IPA was a fundraiser for her sister’s friend who passed away from a brain tumor. So, it’s no surprise she immediately connected with ‘Moment of Magic’ and the work they do with medically vulnerable children.

“That’s why ‘Moment of Magic’ was so important to me because I personally knew a child with a horrible disease,” Holm shared.

Volunteering allowed her to carry out the IPA core value, ‘Power of Human Kindness’ and fulfill her dream of being a Disney princess, Rapunzel. Holm remembered a time she spent hours playing with a girl who didn’t speak English. “

We had a tea party and even though we couldn’t talk, it was still meaningful to her. It was really beautiful. We were helping them be happy in the state that they were in,” said Holm.

It also led her to meeting her husband, Erik, who played Captain America. “That program is what brought us together as friends initially and how we got to know each other. As characters we would go room to room and there would be activities for us to do with the kids like crafts,” Holm shared.

The couple kept in touch after he graduated in 2020 and serendipity continued to bring them together. He happened to visit the small town in Georgia where she was living, and in another kismet moment, they had the same layover while traveling.

“We did not plan this, at the same exact time, in Dallas, Texas. It’s just like random little things, that we’re like, that’s really weird,” Holm said. A year later they dated long distance, in 2022 they got engaged, and in April of this year they tied the knot in Columbus, Georgia.

We are so happy Holm continued to give back after graduating from IPA. It just goes to show that through the ‘Power of Human Kindness’ you receive the same in return and in Holm’s case, experience the fairy tale ending many little girls dream of.