Meet Kathleen O'Donnell

Kathleen O'Donnell is a star Communications volunteer with YNPNdc and spends her days as a writer and editor at the American Institute of Architects. As a volunteer, Kathleen is responsible for helping YNPNdc create some of the great content our members have come to expect and connect with. Originally from the coal regions and Pocono mountains of Pennsylvania, Kathleen made the transition to the DC area after going to college and working for a start up company in New York City, where she learned some valuable skills but wanted to be connected to a bigger purpose. She joined the team at AIA and made the move to the DC area and this broader community. 

We asked Kathleen a few questions about the work she does - both in the nonprofit sector and at YNPNdc. Check out her answers below, and be sure to say hello at our next event!


What brought you to the non-profit world?

I was previously working for a small start up company, and while my experience there was invaluable in many ways, I wanted to be connected to a bigger purpose. My first position at the AIA was the perfect fit, and also gave me the opportunity to move to DC. Since coming here, I've had so many opportunities, not only for my own growth, but to contribute to the lives of others.

What's your favorite thing about your job?

I love that I get to communicate about the impact and value of architecture and design. Serving the architecture profession, I get to witness the incredible power of the built environment has on improving people's livelihoods.

What do you love about volunteering with YNPNdc?

YNPNdc allows me to broaden my network and connect with people who are doing amazing work to support a wide range of causes. Because the organization is volunteer-run and grassroots, I've been given the ability to try new and different things with our communications tactics, alongside some other very talented volunteers.

How have you grown at YNPNdc?

At YNPNdc, I've learned to lean on others and be a more supportive collaborator. It can be challenging to trust new people in a professional setting, but my YNPNdc peers have proven again and again that our abilities are strengthened by one another.

What's the most important life lesson you’ve learned?

One of the biggest things I've learned over the past few years is that caring for myself is just as important as caring for others. Building a healthy mind, body, and heart is critical for me to bring my best to others.


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