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Spotlight! Kirstie Mason (Leadership Institute Edition)

Name: Kirstie Mason

Job title: Manager of Foundation and Government Philanthropy

Organization: Ignite

Time in current role: 4 months

College/School: Central Michigan University

Area of study/expertise: Environmental Studies & Journalism: Public Relations Concentration

What do you like most about working in the nonprofit sector? I love being able to use my skills to live every day in a way that aligns with my passions. The people I get to interact with are also some of the kindest, most driven, and brightest individuals I’ve had the honor of knowing.

Additional information you would like to highlight: In addition to my passion for advocating for and supporting young people, some other focus areas of mine are supporting survivors of domestic/sexual violence and environmental justice.

What drew you to the nonprofit sector? The majority of my awareness of the nonprofit sector grew in college, where I increased my community involvement in various ways. My time volunteering at a local organization supporting survivors of domestic and sexual violence provided a unique sense of contentment and I realized a career in the field may be realistic and fulfilling. As I neared graduation in 2016, I explored how I could use what I’d studied to continue making an impact in the nonprofit world and have been employed in the field since.

What do you like most about YNPN? I am thankful for YNPN’s focus on uniting members of the nonprofit community in such a large city. It is comforting to get the opportunity to network, share, and grow with others who are part of this field and are doing incredible work in the Chicago area.

Personal mantra? “I am enough.” While brief, this is a phrase I have kept coming back to over the years. I think it’s important to not be too hard on ourselves, and this is a quick and simple reminder that I don’t need to be perfect—I am enough the way I am.

What gets you out of bed in the morning? Well, my hungry cats don’t hesitate to wake me up! Outside of them (and plenty of coffee), making time for morning meditation or yoga has really helped me get excited to start the day.

What is your favorite hidden gem in Chicagoland? As a new Chicago resident, I’m not sure people actually consider this “hidden,” but the Garfield Conservatory is by far one of my favorite places in the city. It’s been particularly calming during winter months.

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