Posted by: Academy of Achievement | 02/24/2010

Kirsten Lodal

Kirsten Lodal, Class of 2004
CEO and Co-Founder, LIFT Communities

“Since attending the International Achievement Summit in 2007 as a panelist for the social entrepreneurship conversation, I have been incredibly busy.  Probably the most important update is that National Student Partnerships has changed its name to LIFT.  We officially launched our new name and visual identity in July 2009, and I am thrilled to now have an organizational identity that truly embodies LIFT’s work and mission as a growing national movement to combat poverty and expand opportunity for all families in the United States.

Our rebranding occurred at a pivotal time for our country, as the global economic crisis continued to plunge thousands of families into poverty.  I feel more urgency than ever to expand LIFT’s work and we have embarked on an ambitious five-year plan to expand LIFT’s services to another 100,000 families in our current five cities—Boston, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC— while also offering LIFT’s model as a best practice that can be adopted by other communities and policymakers.  We have already received recognition in the past three years as a model of “what works” in poverty alleviation by entities as diverse as Robin Hood, New Profit, the Clinton Global Initiative, the Aspen Institute, and AmeriCorps.

Personally, I have committed myself to bringing increased national attention to issues of multigenerational poverty and opportunity in the United States, with a focus on women, children, and families.  I am excited to continue to play a leadership role in numerous poverty policy initiatives, and I am participating on several boards, including my current role as the President of the Homeless Children’s Playtime Project.  I was honored to be interviewed when LIFT’s work was featured on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer and CNN, and I have also represented LIFT at the 2008 and 2009 National Conference on Service and Volunteering, the 2009 (and 2010) Clinton Global Initiative University, and the Aspen Institute’s Ideas Festival in 2009.

I currently live in Washington, D.C. with my husband, Jeff Himmelman, who is an author and musician.”

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