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Mott Associate Kari Pardoe offers her first impressions

Kari Pardoe, who recently joined the staff of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation as an associate program officer assigned to the afterschool grant portfolio, comes to Mott with substantial experience in the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors.

Most recently, Pardoe directed The LEAGUE Michigan , a statewide K-12 service-learning and philanthropy education program of the Michigan Nonprofit Association (MNA). She joined the MNA in 2006 after serving as manager of community relations at the Pistons Palace Foundation for Palace Sports and Entertainment in Auburn Hills.

Pardoe also worked for the Council of Michigan Foundations (CMF) in Grand Haven as a program associate and managed grant requests for the Isiah Thomas Foundation in Birmingham, Mich.

She received a bachelor’s degree in applied arts in commercial and community recreation from Central Michigan University and a master’s in public administration in nonprofit administration from Grand Valley State University.

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Mott: Kari, prior to arriving at Mott, you worked for several philanthropic institutions. What attracted you to this line of work?

Pardoe: What I’ve looked for in my past professional positions ― philanthropic and nonprofit ― was the chance to work with young people ― and to provide them with opportunities they might otherwise not have access to. When I was growing up in Marshall, I was fortunate to have people who saw potential in me and who provided me with a variety of opportunities that helped steer me to where I am today.

Those early experiences can help guide you throughout your life. One of the most important lessons I took away from my participation with the Marshall Community Foundation’s youth advisory committee was never to assume ― but to know and understand ― before acting. 

Now, through my new position with Mott, I have the opportunity to help support afterschool and expanded learning programs that provide so many young people with those same kinds of empowering experiences.

Mott: You’ve only been on the job a few months, but what has been the most interesting or surprising thing you’ve learned about afterschool and expanded learning?

Pardoe: I think I’ve been most surprised by the strength and depth of the afterschool network. I am amazed by the networks and their ability to work together even as they deploy different strategies depending upon the needs of their individual state. The technical assistance that is available to the networks — and the way they take advantage of that assistance — is pretty amazing as well.

Mott: As you settle into your new position, what are you most looking forward to?

Pardoe: I’ve been traveling a bit these first few months, learning a lot about the Afterschool Alliance and their STEM initiatives, the Afterschool Technical Assistance Collaborative (ATAC) and meeting with other grantmakers with a focus on K-12 education. Now I’m really looking forward to visiting individual state networks and seeing more local afterschool and expanded learning programs ― to get a sense of what is taking place at the ground level.

I’m really anxious to dive in and learn more from our grantees ― I feel truly blessed to have the opportunity to work for Mott.

See more at http://www.mott.org/news/news/2014/20140107-Kari-Pardoe-Interview-Spotlight#sthash.Ct4mJX1c.dpuf.

(Note: This report is provided as a service to our readers from a press release submitted to www.eastvillagemagazine.org. The story is edited to conform to Associated Press and local style. The group or individual who submitted the story is responsible for all information provided.)

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