Christina Vann is a Public and Nonprofit Administration major at Grand Valley State University with interests in the political process and in improving our campus community. Christina is constantly stepping up to meet new challenges and explore new ways to make an impact. Christina has spent time volunteering at the Refugee Education Center in Grand Rapids supporting students with reading, writing and on field trips. Christina recently interned with the local organization KConnect where data regarding the need and use for a variety of public services are collected, compiled and reported. Christina is also engaged in the political process through her work as an election inspector and has served in various supporting roles at political debates and fundraisers. Christina recognizes and values the importance of using data to understand and serve community needs while seeking to make change at the local and individual level.
I have discovered organizations in West Michigan that have allowed me to address the root causes of social issues for which I am passionate. I served as a volunteer at the Refugee Education Center where I had the opportunity to go on field trips with the students, engage with them at recess, and practice reading and writing. These programs build refugee families a support network so that they can identify with our West Michigan community and feel a sense of belonging. Through an internship, I was able to sit in on planning meetings for KConnect where I learned that data sharing offers a collaborative method for communities to glean more information about who is in need of services and the kinds of services they need, thus more effectively matching these residents to community resources. In addition, I have been able to address community issues by serving as an election inspector and acting as support personnel at debates and fundraisers for a local political party I support. I find that it is important to serve and make changes on the local, individual level and to use data and storytelling as ways to understand a community and serve its needs.