Brenna Kristiansen is a sophomore at Salem State University studying business and public policy and administration. Brenna’s advocacy work began as a freshman in high school. She worked with the school’s administration on reimplementing a peer mediation/restorative justice program for students to resolve conflict. Through her involvement at the school and on the varsity softball team she gained more opportunities to volunteer, engage with her community and meet residents of all ages and backgrounds. As a senior, Brenna worked at a local after school program, where her and other high school employees worked with city officials to raise wages for municipal employees. These experiences led her to her dream internship at the Mayor’s Office in Medford as full time freshmen at Salem State. During this time Brenna was engaged in advocacy work at SSU by serving as the Board Chair of a committee that led a successful advocacy campaign on campus. This campaign brought awareness to the Hunger Free Campus Bill and engaged students in advocating for the legislation. This past spring Brenna’s advocacy has focused on youth development through coaching various sports teams and volunteering at an adaptive basketball program at the Medford Recreation Center.
My passion is making positive change in my communities. My friends know that twice a week I am unavailable as I am deeply invested in watching school committee and city council meetings to stay informed on local decision making. It has been my privilege to coach youth and high school softball and witness talented athletes reach their goals, develop confidence, and excel on the field. It is a great honor to currently intern with the Recreation Department and being able to work with youth of all abilities and learn from the department’s highly dedicated employees. As a 2020 graduate during the pandemic, my eyes were truly opened to the powerful strength of community. I will tirelessly advocate for developing a community that is inclusive, fair, welcoming and has opportunities for all in my hometown or on my college campus.