Kristen Graves, United Way of Central Maryland

Kristen Graves had never heard about AmeriCorps until June of this year.  A certified lifeguard, Kristen was working in a management position at a community aquatics facility she had worked at for the past eight years in her hometown in Missouri.  A friend referred her to an area school district to accompany a summer camp facilitated by AmeriCorps members on a canoe trip.  On the canoe trip, Kristen was assigned to a canoe with an AmeriCorps member where she “assaulted” her with questions. “I knew I had found what I was looking for.  I think there are few times in life which something so wonderful occurs with such ease.” Kristen said.  Kristen’s passion for service came from her hard-working central Missouri family and as a Social Work student at Missouri State University where she volunteered with Head Start, Habitat for Humanity, a local zoo, AIDS project of the Ozarks, and Therapeutic Riding of the Ozarks to name a few.  This year Kristen will serve with the United Way of Central Maryland, working to engage more volunteers in the 2-1-1 call center and Read, Learn, Succeed, a literacy program.  Kristen is a major St. Louis Cardinals fan, an avid reader, and hopes to attend graduate school next fall.

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