Alumni Spotlight: Kathryn Flores '09
For Kathryn Flores, stepping out of her comfort zone looked like taking the advice of Drury’s Dr. Elizabeth Paddock to follow an unexpected calling. As an International Political Studies and Spanish double major, becoming a corps member in Teach For America might not have been the path Flores had planned. As a result of her Drury experience, Kathryn was inspired to become involved in education after seeing what it can do for people from all backgrounds.
Of the many memories Flores has of Drury University, certain moments directed her toward her calling. She served as the Transfer Student Intern in the Admissions Office; giving her the opportunity to assist students from around the country with decisions about their educational future. She also served as an Orientation Team Leader and watched a diverse group of students find a place that would provide them with an outstanding education.
“Never allow fear of the unknown to hold you back from pursuing a new venture.”
After training for a summer in Atlanta Public Schools, Kathryn began five years of teaching Spanish, Remedial Writing, and Intervention Reading in St. Louis. She also spent two summers working with Teach For America in Chicago training new corps members. In 2014, Flores became a full-time staff member of Teach For America in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Today, she works alongside educational leaders who fight tirelessly for educational equity in low-income communities, such as Rio Grande Valley. She is also the mother of one-year-old, Alba Linda and enjoys attending swimming lessons, music class, reading programs, and other hobbies with her daughter.
During her “spare” time, Flores co-founded the not-for-profit INSPIRE, INspire Student Potential In Revolutionary Education. Kathryn and her colleagues recognized the importance of the transitions between middle school and high school and high school to higher education. INSPIRE works to place students in the school that will best suit their needs, passions, and aspirations. Every member of the inaugural class of eighth grade students graduated high school and matriculated to college.
Learning To Be A Learner
As a past Drury student and a current educator, Flores has advice that will serve the reader during and after their educational endeavors. “Be prepared to step out of your “comfort-zone.” What is unfamiliar to you may make you hesitate about moving forward, but do not allow it to do so. Be humble and open to the possibility of being a learner forever. You will gain so much insight when you have the disposition of humility and learning as a professional.”
Today at Drury, Kathryn is a donor and volunteer member of the alumni welcome team. She also regularly attends events such as Breakfast with Santa and Homecoming. If you are interested in becoming a donor, please visit https://alumni.drury.edu/giving. For opportunities to become involved as a volunteer, visit https://www.drury.edu/alumni/volunteerform.