Introducing Kaitlyn Phillips | Development Officer at Far Away Friends
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
It’s a question many of us hear between the ages of 5 and 25, and the answer to it -- for me, at least -- seems to change as often as it’s asked. When I was five it was a princess, then at six it was one of the PowderPuff girls, and until I was ten I swore up and down I was going to be a PowerRanger.
Though I never got to be a PowerRanger or a princess, I did have many amazing opportunities to learn and explore and discover, and by my freshmen year of high school I found an organization called Invisible Children, a nonprofit that works to end the use of child soldiers in central Africa; this is where I found compassion and kindness and purpose, and this is where I met Collines.
I met Collines the way many people met Collines between the year of 2007 and 2013: after the screening of an Invisible Children film, after hearing her story and her mission, and (of course) with tears in my eyes. She, along with many of the people I’ve met in the Invisible Children community, inspired me to find what I thought was wrong with the world and do my best to work towards a solution.
I met Jayme in much the same way, at a conference held by IC in 2013 that we both attended. We were both passionate about education and our hearts went out to the plight of those in Uganda, an area we worked closely with through IC, and a place that many of our now close friends call home. I remember her talking about Far Away Friends then, just a dream built and believed in by two best friends on different sides of the world who believed that where you live should not determine whether you live, and that every child has the right to an education.
Fast forward to 2015 and it is amazing to see what these two have accomplished. In the summer of this year, I applied to be Far Away Friends’ Development Intern for two reasons: 1) because I saw (and see) so much potential in this organization to do so much good, and was willing to take any and every opportunity to be a part of creating that, and 2) since discovering IC, working at a nonprofit like FAF had become my answer to the “dream job” question. I was ecstatic when Jayme, Collines, and Chris agreed to take me on as an intern, and absolutely over-the-moon when they asked me to join the team permanently as the Development Officer this fall.
As the Development Officer for Far Away Friends, I work to inform more people about what we do as well as encourage them to get involved in sustainable ways. As an undergrad studying English Education at Colorado State University, I’m currently working to implement the first Far Away Friends club on campus, including holding weekly meetings, planning fundraising campaigns, and organizing events to raise awareness.
In my spare time I read and write a lot: something that’s kind of unavoidable as an English major. Some of my favorite authors are the ones who instilled in me a desire to help people, and a desire to teach: Toni Morrison, Chimamanda Adichie, and Junot Diaz. I’m a lover of coffee and green tea, spoken word poetry, and road trips. I have a twin brother who attends my rival university, my favorite novel is A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway, and I currently pay the bills by assistant teaching in a preschool classroom and working nights as a barista (hence the aforementioned coffee addiction).
Most importantly, I am thankful to be working for such an incredible organization and with such an amazing team. Not many people ever get to work their dream jobs, and I feel so fortunate to have found such great passion and purpose here at Far Away Friends.