“Explore this city, and don’t stop exploring. This city has much more to offer than anyone can imagine, and there are so many different activities and opportunities to get involved within the community.”
In their own words
It is rare that an individual in their twenties can say they are working their dream job, with a dream team, at their dream organization. In high school, I was a Big Sister in the Salina chapter of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. The company’s vision is to create a positive change within our community through the power of one-on-one mentoring. I love the mission of the organization and knew I would want to work for them one day. Now I am!
I am the Special Events Manager at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City. I assist and help manage several of our outreach events, and I am the lead planner for two of our annual signature events (Match Appreciation Banquet, RISE – A Rooftop Crawl). Our team helps with each event we have throughout the year, including our biggest fundraiser, Summer Bowl for Kids’ Sake. This year, our goal is to raise $800,000 for the agency.
The Kansas City branch of Big Brothers Big Sisters was recently named 2016 Agency of the Year out of 350 affiliates. We also recently received the Excellence in Impact Award through Nonprofit Connect. The Events Team received third place in both the Top Five Multi-Day Events and the Top Five Golf Events of 2016 through The Independent.
In my free time, my fiancé and I are a Big Couple in the BBBS program, where we hang out with and mentor our Little, Savalis. Just spending a couple hours every week with our Little makes my heart grow two sizes. I love to serve on committees that I am passionate about and that I feel are making a change in the Kansas City area. I am on the Creative Planning Committee for Rightfully Sewn’s Golden Gala event. I formerly served as a Young Friends of Art Ambassador for the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, BARRE KC Membership Committee Member for the Kansas City Ballet, and volunteer at Heartland Therapeutic Riding.
In October, I am marrying the man of my dreams on a rooftop in Kansas City with a small list of family and close friends. My fiancé and I met during a production of Pirates of Penzance at Shawnee Mission Theatre in the Park. In one scene, he played a pirate who tried to steal me away, and he threw me over his shoulder. I guess you could say he swept me off my feet!
I moved to Kansas City in the Summer of 2011 just after graduating from Kansas State University. That same summer I got married and packed up everything and moved to the big city so my then husband could attend KU Medical Center for Medical School.
I currently live in the River Market/Columbus Park area and have claimed this as my home. It is so wonderful to have access to local shops and eateries, as well as the ability to hop on the KC streetcar and explore other great areas of the city. I can walk my dog at Berkley Riverfront Park. This area is also currently experiencing so much growth, and it’s amazing to witness it firsthand. My fiancé and I are excited to be a part of this growing part of the community.
A day in the life
The best mornings start out when my fiancé and I wake up to go for a run from the River Market to Union Station, following the KC Streetcar route. We typically hop on the Streetcar back to our home where he makes a hearty breakfast while I snuggle with our dog, Pig. I’m pretty spoiled in the mornings.
I try to make it to the office before anyone else so I can enjoy some down time with a large cup of coffee and limited distractions. This is the time where I can really plan my morning and make a checklist of things I want to accomplish for the day. I then hit the ground running with emails, phone calls, text messages, and meetings involving every single event the branch is involved in. A random dance party or champagne toast is known to happen if we reach our goals within the agency. Over the lunch hours, we seek out opportunities to meet and with businesses around the city to share our mission and seek out partnerships, as well as new “Bigs” to match with our “Littles”. I love meeting new people and networking with organizations throughout the city. The Special Events team is typically the first to arrive and the last to leave, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
My typical nights aren’t anything glamorous. They often involve vegging out and watching the best junk television on Hulu and Netflix with a glass of wine while we try to keep our dog from hoarding all our blankets.
I want to be known as a leader who makes a positive impact in the lives of others and the community throughout Kansas City. I want to be a role model for others looking to make a difference and a positive change in our community.
My dream is to one day be a beekeeper! I am slowly learning the ropes so I can start my own hives. *buzz buzz*
Explore this city, and don’t stop exploring. This city has much more to offer than anyone can imagine, and there are so many different activities and opportunities to get involved within the community. Consider something may have never seen or done before and broaden your horizons. Find a poetry slam to attend. Laugh at an improv night at Kick Comedy Theatre. Book a brewery or winery tour with The Barley Bus. Join a leisure/sports league with KC Crew. Enjoy bottomless mimosas and a Sunday brunch drag show at Hamburger Mary’s. Load up the car and catch a double feature at the Boulevard Drive-In. Attend a show during the KC Fringe Festival. Volunteer and raise money for a charity you believe in.
Most importantly, support local and small independent businesses! I love this quote by Yu Ming Wu, “Authenticity and hustle – that’s why you should support independent businesses.” Local businesses invest in our community because they choose to live here, are less likely to leave, and are more invested in our community’s future. Local artists, sports, restaurants, shops, and charities have brought residents and visitors back into the heart of Kansas City. It’s our job to help support them and help give back to our growing community.