Kirsten Collins joined Literacy Minnesota in November 2018, as the Literacy Services Program Director. Kirsten comes to Literacy Minnesota from the University of Minnesota (U of M), where she worked for 10 years as an adviser, teaching specialist, and as the College English Transitions program coordinator for TRIO Student Support Services. TRIO is a federally funded program that serves low-income college students who are the first in their family to go to college. Kirsten is an alum of the U of M TRIO program, as well as an AmeriCorps VISTA and State alum. Kirsten is a former volunteer at Open Door-Lake Street and spent two years working part-time for Minneapolis Public Schools Adult Basic Education program, as both a teacher and a navigator. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Women’s Studies as well as earned her ABE teaching license from the University of Minnesota. She holds a TEFL certification, a Master of Arts in Adult Education and a graduate certificate in teaching adult learners from Portland State University in Oregon.
Kirsten is strongly inspired by adult learners, who often go on to use their education and lived-experiences to inspire and support others, as well as work towards more equitable communities. She is thrilled for the opportunity to work with an organization that values, supports, and encourages adult learners who often facilitate such positive change in our communities. She believes, as Lilla Watson, Murri scholar and activist said, “If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.” Outside of work, Kirsten is a dog mom to two goofballs. She enjoys biking, hiking, refinishing furniture (sometimes even successfully), and taking her vintage pop-up camper on adventures.