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Kirsten Salazar

Kirsten Salazar

Adams State University SECond Mission AmeriCorps VISTA

Kirsten is a VISTA at Adams State University, in Alamosa, Colorado. She is a Colorado Native and has lived in Monte Vista, Colorado for 16 years. Prior to becomming a VISTA, Kirsten worked in the Student Veterans Center as a workstudy, while attending school. She was motivated by the work being done for student Veterans by the VISTA serving serving in the center, and observed both personal development as well as valuable veteran support and decided she would like to join the SECond Mission team. Kirsten values the opprotunity to help others, and genuinely hopes to help the program grow and succeed.

Working in the Veterans Center for the past two years has opened her eyes to how extremely important it is for transitioning veterans to have the right support systems in place. She understands the freshman veteran in school often can’t relate to the 18 year old freshman just out of high school, and believes giving them that option to connect with people they do relate to is essential to ensuring their success. Her brother was also in the Navy and after his service was complete she saw first hand the struggles he faced trying to find a job, get a house, and other various struggles that accompnay transitioning back into civilian life. She stated: "The veterans I have worked with and know are outstanding people and helping them succeed is something I want to be part of."

Kirsten loves to spend the majority of her time with her daughter Remie. After her service she plans on going to Grad school as soon as possible to obtain a Masters of Social Work (MSW). After that, she would like to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and work in a children’s hospital.

SPOTLIGHT ON ENGAGEMENT

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
----Viktor Frankl

From the podium situated at the front of the room to the tables set up in uniform rows to the individuals sitting in identical chairs, speckled throughout, this classroom could be any college classroom across the country.  The stories that emanated from this little, plain room...