• Claire Palmer

Introducing our new LIFT team member, Kylie

If you pass by LIFT's classroom in the Suttons Bay Middle School, you’ll notice a new face. This friendly face belongs to Kiley Harrison. Kiley has joined the LIFT team as our new Middle School Programs Director, and we couldn’t be happier to have her as the newest member in our effort to make a positive change in the lives of young adults.

Here's a little bit of background on our new friend.

Kiley grew up in Leelanau County but didn’t stay here for long. After college, she traveled to 36 countries before she returned to participate in as much as possible in her hometown. Kiley says she hopes to broaden the mindset of those whom she interacts with, especially youth. Most recently, she was the Co-Director of the Pathfinder School Summer Camp. She attended the camp as a child, and it was always a place of great importance to her. She speaks of her time there highly and says it was one of the most rewarding roles she has ever had.

That’s also how she came across LIFT.

Through mutual friends, we contacted her to be a guest on our podcast, Generation Perspective, and something clicked that day. Laughter filled the entire episode, ending with Bekah, Ian, and Kiley discussing how dinosaurs had evolved to live in the center of the Earth to control the human population. In the end, Bekah mentioned that she wasn’t done getting to know Kiley, and the rest is history.

Kiley’s career background is in outdoor education. She attended an Outdoor Education Diploma Program in Germany in 2019, where she directed several camps throughout the country, most notably in the Bavarian Alps.

“The only thing I love as much as I love working with kids outside is traveling. We had kids from 176 different countries, and to be part of such a program watching children from all over the world come together through shared experiences was more rewarding than I can ever begin to describe."

We are very grateful to have people with life experiences like Kiley to dedicate their time to our youth.

She says she’s most looking forward to laughter, camaraderie, and adventure working with the LIFT teens. She hopes that they wake up each morning looking forward to spending time with each other.

“The best times of my life were when I was playing outside with my peers. Now I still get

to do that, but you know...make a career out of it. It’s a magical life.”

We asked her, “What is something you wish everyone knew about working with teens?”

“It’s exactly as difficult as you think it would be. But one million times more rewarding than you can ever imagine. Trust is earned, and the more that you work to help them trust you, the more that they give back, and the more you learn to recognize and appreciate your own personal wealth and growth as well as theirs.”

Welcome to the team, Kiley.

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