Kristen is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio. After graduation from college, she joined the Peace Corps and served in Ecuador for 3 years as a community health volunteer. In addition to many projects, Kristen worked with the Ecuadorian Red Cross’s national HIV program training Red Cross volunteers on HIV topics with a focus on human rights and people living with HIV. This experience not only inspired her to continue a career in Public Health but also developed her love for Latin America.
After Peace Corps, she pursued her Masters of Public Health at the Ohio State University with a focus on global health. She conducted a 10-week practicum experience in Guatemala working with an NGO called Partner for Surgery, conducting a barrier analysis and evaluation of their nutrition project for infants with cleft lip and/or palate. As she was finishing up her program she met Erika (Executive Director) at a career fair. One thing led to the next and she was interviewing for the position as In-Country Director of Montaña de Luz. In July 2012, Kristen traveled for the first time to Honduras to begin serving her two-year which turned into 3 year contract.
Kristen loves the ability to work with a multicultural team of staff and volunteers, and empower the local leaders to take ownership of this project. She is passionate about MdL connecting to the HIV community and advocating for rights for people living with HIV. Kristen believes that providing education to build awareness to create a better society for the children of MdL must go hand in hand with the mission to provide holistic care while they are at MdL. For this reason the teenagers of MdL are encouraged to lead the program called LUZ that is tailored for peer education about HIV and awareness building.