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Omaha Staff Spotlight: Program Director Katie Cunningham

We’re kicking off a Staff Spotlight series with our passionate program leader and strong pillar of the organization, Katie Cunningham. Each month, meet one of our Leadership Team members and learn why they care about College Possible.

Katie Cunningham, Program Director

Alma mater:
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, bachelor’s, and University of Missouri-St. Louis, master’s
How long at College Possible:
“I’m just starting my eighth program year!”
Why College Possible?
“I joined College Possible shortly after teaching for two years in St. Louis Public Schools with Teach For America. College Possible offered a way for me to leverage my passion for education equity to help students in my hometown (and beyond) experience transformational change. I’ve had the privilege to meet students at age 16 and support them until they graduated from college. I’ve seen the difference a degree makes, and the difference College Possible can make for students on their journey.”

Tell us about your role:

“My role is a lot of everything! I ensure fantastic high school and college program delivery for our students through strategic planning and implementation, building and empowering a strong team of staff and AmeriCorps coaches, and keeping student and community needs top of mind.
I am also tasked with fostering an inclusive and positive AmeriCorps and program team culture and experience (which includes robust training for AmeriCorps coaches and staff). I also cultivate and stewarding relationships and partnerships with stakeholders,including colleges, K-12 schools, community organizations, community members, and more! I am also the program leader for our AmeriCorps grant through ServeNebraska.”
What do you love most about your job?
“The people. Whether it’s the students we’re lucky enough to serve, the AmeriCorps coaches that choose to dedicate thousands of hours to College Possible and their students, or the other staff members who believe deeply in the power of a college degree and the unlimited potential of our youth; I am grateful and humbled every single day to be surrounded by so much talent and positive forces for good.
Other interests:
“I am driven by equity and inclusion and the experience of young people in Omaha. I am member of the Omaha Chamber’s YP Council, the vice-chair for communication project management for the Junior League of Omaha, and I’m currently in Class 2 of Rising Leader’s Institute, a leadership development class through ynpnGO and Nonprofit Association of the Midlands. I am also the parent of a 15 month-old, and enjoy running (mostly jogging these days).”
One thing you want to learn more about this year:
“Community building and inclusion in the digital space. Support networks and relationships are essential to college admission and success. In a COVID-19 world, the challenge of “digital first” means we have to be that much more intentional about fostering strong relationships and support.”
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