After Hurricane Katrina destroyed her family’s home in 2005, Kirsten’s life was uprooted when her family moved to Colorado. The transition was difficult for Kirsten who had a hard time adjusting until her mother discovered the Denver Broncos Boys & Girls Club.
“I was very anti-social after moving to Colorado and my parents were worried about me,” said Kirsten. “They put me in different daycares and summer camps to see if I would open up to any of my peers but nothing really worked for me. My mom had come across the Club from a co-worker who told her that her kids went there. She came to the Club and signed me up right away.”
After a warm welcome from Club Director Rich Barrows, Kirsten realized the Club was different than the places she’d spent time before. Barrows assured her she would be making friends in no time. He was right.
The Club helped Kirsten get involved in her community and find the passion to change the world around her. She actively participates in the Club’s leadership and service programs and dedicates her time to projects intended to engage young people in strengthening their community.
“I believe that this generation can be the greatest generation. We have the world at our fingertips,” she said. However, she worries that many kids lack the motivation to make a difference. “If kids were as compelled to do things as they are to check their social media or keep up with friends, we would have a force to be reckoned with in America.”
There is no denying that Kirsten has found that motivation and she plans to carry that ambition forward. “I am on a mission to do things the right way. I know what I want and how I’m going to get there,” she said.
Kirsten has plans for a career in law enforcement. When she was younger, she was uncertain about the police and the criminal justice system. “All my life, I’ve seen family members and loved ones incarcerated. People around me hated the law and rebelled against authority, so growing up, that was normal to me,” she explained.
But Kirsten’s parents taught her to find her own perspectives and do her best to discern right from wrong. She learned more about law enforcement and found the reality more nuanced. She came to appreciate the services police were providing to the community.
“I started to have more of a passion for the judicial system and wanted to know how it worked,” she said. “I wanted to make a change within my community.”
Through a career in law enforcement, Kirsten hopes to change minds and build stronger relationships between police and community members. As she’s been doing for years, Kirsten is sure to keep motivating the rest of her generation along the way.