Kiersten DeHaven attended the University of Notre Dame as a student-athlete majoring in Political Science and Spanish while rowing for the varsity women’s rowing team. She spent a summer studying abroad in Toledo, Spain and a summer volunteering at an inner city elementary school in Buenos Aires, Argentina through a service learning program organized by Notre Dame’s Center for Social Concerns. After graduating from Notre Dame, Kiersten joined the Peace Corps and served as an English literacy volunteer in Western Samoa working primarily with at-risk students in her rural village on the island of Savaii. She discovered her passion for development work while writing grants and collaborating with her community on various projects. She facilitated the installation of an improved potable water system for her village’s school and the development of a creative learning center equipping the school community with computers, a library, and teaching materials. During her service, she served as budget and fundraising chairperson for the annual “Girls Lead Our World” conference bringing young women from across Samoa together for workshops on health, education and employment opportunities. After finishing her Peace Corps Service, she worked as a secondary school rowing coach in Hamilton, New Zealand. She is from Tampa, Florida and spent much of her childhood in Nuevo Arenal, Costa Rica where she became fluent in Spanish. She joins the Global Human Development program with an interest in education and economic development.
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