Juana Picchu is in the background. I'm on the far right.
Machu Picchu is in the top left corner of this photo. I'm standing atop Juana Picchu.
My love for cultures and Spanish grew across many years and points in my life, but my passion for non-profit came rather suddenly. Actually, my interest in Spanish-speaking cultures is what led me to my first non-profit internship at Children International in Kansas City, MO. I interned here during the first two summers of college in their Program Services department. I had great supervisors and mentors and was even given the opportunity of a lifetime when I was sent to tour two of their Service Area Centers in Honduras during my first summer there. I will never forget that trip and what it taught me.
Just before my final year of college, I was elected the first Vice President of Community Service for my sorority Kappa Delta. I still think that I was elected to this position based mostly on my non-profit-loving reputation. In those final two semesters of undergrad, my enthusiasm for fundraising grew; particularly fundraising that worked directly with corporate sponsorships and negotiation. I see this line of work as a dance between those asking and those being asked. Both have needs and goals to reach through their agreement, and it’s a fascinating exercise for me to figure out how both parties can arrive at an agreeable solution that benefits everyone. I enjoy the psychology behind giving, as well as the science behind “the ask.”
Roomies and me sporting our philanthropy tee for KD Quesadillas.
After graduation I pursued the non-profit sector for my career. The job market was certainly tough at the time that I graduated, but I persevered. (what else could you do?) Eventually the talented Vice President of Fund Development at The University of Kansas Hospital gave me my first fundraising internship. I worked at the hospital for five months before they could no longer afford to keep me on staff or hire me full-time, so it was back to the job search grind. Luckily, I this time around I had an entire department of colleagues willing to help me find my next job. With their help, I landed my current position as Combined Federal Campaign Manager at the United Way of Greater Kansas City. I honestly enjoy my job and learn more about the science behind fundraising every day.