Kirstin McKenzie

You were asked to join the ReInvision Huntingdon board. Why do you feel you are a good fit?

I feel passionate about the livelihood of my community. I’ve grown up in Huntingdon, graduated from HAHS, chose to stay to attend college at Juniata, and chose to stay here while I pursue my master’s degree at Penn State. I’m happy to dedicate time and energy to help improve the community that I love.

What do you bring to the organization?

I’ve lived in Huntingdon and served in different capacities during the 16 years I’ve lived here. I’ve been a student at HAHS, I’ve volunteered with the American Cancer Society Relay for Life, I’ve been a student at Juniata College, and I’ve worked at J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital. In each part of my life, I’ve felt embedded in my community and I feel as though I bring these unique perspectives to achieving the mission of ReInvision Huntingdon.

What is your profession and why did you choose this profession?

I am a student at Penn State working toward my Master of Health Administration. I chose this field because I’m passionate about health care. Our health care system is has its problems and undergoing unprecedented change and innovation and I’m excited to be a part of the solution. Particularly, I’ve seen how the system impacts rural health and rural communities and I’m interested in focusing on improving health in rural communities.

What is your favorite volunteering experience? How did/does this experience change you?

I have been involved with Relay for Life at the community and campus level both in Huntingdon and at Juniata. I, like many others in our community, have seen family and friends fight cancer and I’m happy to play my part to End a cure. From planning fundraisers to hosing events, I try my best to communicate the value of the American Cancer Society and the support they provide to our loved ones.

Why do you choose to live/work in Huntingdon?

The sense of community I’ve witnessed and I’ve been apart of is something unique to Huntingdon. I spent time living away from Huntingdon while I was at Juniata and I found myself missing the small town feel. I missed going to the grocery store and running into neighbors and I missed being able to stay involved with the community energy that Huntingdon has. This is a special place and I’ve loved growing up here and continue to love living here.

As an organization if we were to choose ONE project to work on for the year, what do you wish it would it be?

I would love to see beautification efforts continue in our town. We’ve got so much potential in lots of different spaces across town and I’d be happy to see a community mural project happen this year to brighten up some of our more dull community spaces.

How would you like to positively impact our community? What do you want to see happen here? What is your ideal Huntingdon?

My ideal Huntingdon is a place not much different that the place I see today. However, I’d love to see an effort to keep young people in our community. Too many people leave for college and never come back. I’d be happy to see people come home and using their newly acquired knowledge and life experiences to improve our community.

Kirstin resigned from the board in the Fall of 2017 to pursue graduate research work. We will be forever grateful for her initial commitment to the board and the organization as a whole in our founding years!