Katherine Watson, a Community Leadership and Development major at Alverno College, is an active campus leader dedicated to advocating for marginalized persons in our society. As a first-year student, she has quickly established herself in a variety of campus-community initiatives focused on socioeconomic inequality and LGBT+ advocacy. Before coming to Alverno, Watson was already deeply dedicated to social justice and activism. Her work with Holy Wisdom Monastery, an ecumenical Benedictine community, included organizing a community read event focused on the theme of hospitality and community. She has extended this work at Alverno through her work with the college's Campus Ministry volunteer program at the St. Ben's Food Pantry, an organization dedicated not only to the effects of hunger and poverty, but also their root causes. Watson is a member of our campus Gay Straight Alliance and secretary of R.A.I.S.E., an organization dedicated to raising awareness of homelessness.
Growing up, social justice and service were central to my family. From an early age, my parents involved us in helping others through community volunteer projects for the Salvation Army and our local food pantry. That work evolved into projects that I began to initiate focused on educational opportunities for socioeconomic disadvantaged persons. I helped collect and distribute school supplies and served as a peer tutor. My work has also focused on community building. For example, I served on a committee that organized a community read at my place of worship. These experiences led me to realize my passion for social justice, particularly related to socioeconomic inequality. At Alverno, I have grown in my activism and leadership as part of Campus Ministry, the St. Ben's meal program, Alverno's Gay Straight Alliance and RAISE, an organization dedicated to raising awareness of homelessness. My major, Community Leadership and Development, has allowed me to begin to prepare for my career in the nonprofit sector, drawing together these experiences and practical and theoretical academic strategies to advocate for marginalized people in our society - particularly in the LGBT+ community.