Today we bring to you our young, adventurous, gregarious and uber creative Program Director Katie who’s been a part of LLI team since November 2014. Originally from Denver, Colorado she is an avid fan of mountain climbing, yoga, and all things food-related. She has lived and worked in Hong Kong, Nicaragua, Japan, and Peru, where she learned Japanese, and Spanish. She received her Bachelors Degree in International Relations with a concentration on Health and Gender Development from the University of Denver.
For two years – both during college and after – she was a part-time Americorps volunteer. There, she completed 900 volunteer hours at four organizations working with infant, youth, and adult welfare, health, and education: Mi Casa Resource Center, Colorado Bright Beginnings (now called Bright By Three), Cooking Matters Colorado, and Denver Health Hospital.
While finishing Americorps, she began a full-time position working with the State of Colorado’s Department of Labor and Employment Unemployment Division, where she worked for over two years. During this time she worked as a Spanish-speaking call center representative, in outreach to Workforce Centers in eleven Colorado counties, as a member of the Federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation team, and finally as an adjudicator (judge) of unemployment cases.
For six months during 2011, she lived in Cutervo, Cajamarca, Peru where she jointly worked with two Peace Corps volunteers to found and run a grassroots youth center called Kutiri. There, the youth center was open five days a week and did field trips, community events like movie nights and pancake breakfasts, maintained a library, had game and chess nights, and did workshops on self-development and English for teens. The project was later written into government legislation for local administration when the Kutiri founders had to return to the United States.
Later, during June 2014, she returned to Peru to conduct research on human trafficking nonprofits in Peru with a professor and PhD candidate from the University of Denver as well as one of the Kutiri co-founders. The group spent three weeks in Lima, Cusco, Madre de Dios, and Iquítos to interview 33 government agencies and NGOs regarding their social networks and the nature of the human trafficking they deal with, and to attend the 2014 Peruvian National Human Trafficking Conference.
In August 2014, she left the State of Colorado to seek a job in her preferred field of International Development, during which time she moved to Washington DC. When Katie found the Program Director position with LLI during her job search, she was struck by how similar LLI was to Kutiri, and applied to the position the same day she found it.
Katie says that she is so excited and thankful to have been given this opportunity to return to Peru and work with the people of Huaycán as it is precisely the position she had been searching for. It combines all her past experience with social work, international development, youth development, and Spanish into one perfect position, and it is an honor to work for LLI!
We are extremely fortunate and thrilled to have you in our team, Katie! You have brought a ton of energy to the house, and we admire you for being the passionate person that you are. And just to let you know, here at LLI, you have some ardent friends for life from all over the world 🙂