2013 Prize Winner
"Her commitment to the nonprofit world is highly personal. She firmly believes that our community needs citizens who are dedicated to the common good. She takes the responsibility seriously." Faith Danforth, Mercy Corps
At a young age, Kristin "Minka" Wallace lost her father to suicide and subsequently became a mom at 14. "There was a department at PSU that sponsored my daughter and me for Christmas," Wallace says. "I still have the running shoes today." While Wallace wants to give back, her plan isn't to break even. She wants to make Portland a better place to live for her daughter. As the development associate for the Library Foundation, Wallace runs the summer reading program, which encourages kids to read outside the classroom. "There are few institutions in modern society that are able to bring together people young and old, rich and poor, speaking a myriad of languages," Wallace says. "But the library does all of that. No one is turned away. And many leave with the tools they need to build a better future for themselves." Wallace says many people her age don't fully understand the role the library holds in our community. "Google can't answer every question," she says. In addition to lending books on how to make a terrarium or knit, the library hosts classes to help hone job interview skills. "It's a place you can walk away from feeling like the richest person alive," Wallace says.
Her prize was generously sponsored by Intel.