Tag Archives: Katy Kelewae

Leadership Spotlight – Katy Kelewae, Class XXII

Katy Kelewae STARSThis blog is forth in a series from alumni about their experience in Scottsdale Leadership. Katy Kelewae is a graduate of Class XXII and the Development Associate & Volunteer Coordinator for STARS. Scottsdale Leadership is currently recruiting participants for Class 26. Visit scottsdaleleadership.org for details.

Katy Kelewae, Class 22
STARS, Development Associate & Volunteer Coordinator

Community Involvement: ASU Lodestar’s Generation Next Nonprofit Leadership Academy, Class 3; Kent State University Phoenix Alumni Chapter Co-Chair; Scottsdale Leadership, PR & Marketing Committee member

How has Scottsdale Leadership enhanced your community involvement? Scottsdale Leadership enhanced my community involvement in many ways – too many to list. Without the community knowledge I gained through Scottsdale Leadership, I would have never been able to know where I wanted to make a difference. Without Scottsdale Leadership, I would not have known the needs of the community, priorities of citizens, or where to go to learn more.

What’s the most important leadership lesson you’ve learned and how did you learn it? The most important leadership lesson I learned was that true leaders will, at some point, have to do what isn’t popular, what is unpleasant, and may suffer personally as a result. But, that true leaders will make the right decision because it is the right thing to do. I learned this by meeting Jim Bruner and hearing about his past and experiences.

If you could solve any community issue or need, what would it be? If I could fix any community issue, it would be getting community leaders and passionate members of the community to communicate with respect. Passion is wonderful to have, but when it gets in your way of communicating with respect and understanding, decisions seemed forced on the opposition and divisions widen.


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Seeing the big picture is hard – but necessary

By Katy Kelewae, Class 22
STARS, Development Associate & Volunteer Coordinator

Looking at a present situation and deciding to take a leadership role in wherever your passion lies may seem daunting task. It is often hard, if not impossible, to visualize what the end result may look like. I am fortunate enough to know one amazing individual who took her passion from the very starting point to what is today the non-profit, Scottsdale Training and Rehabilitation Services or STARS.

Mary King had just moved to Scottsdale, in 1973 and was working part time in the City Manager’s office. She was given the task of researching what programs and services were available to adults with intellectual disabilities in the Scottsdale area. She found none. With the support of Scottsdale elected officials, including Mayor Herb Drinkwater, Mary began to pull together other passionate individuals and groups who all wanted the same result – employment opportunities for adults with intellectual disabilities.

For the past 38 years, Mary has stayed by STARS’ side through many changes including adopting the name STARS, the opening of new facilities and the closing of others. If asked in 1973 if she thought one project at her part time job would change the lives of so many people, she probably would have said “no.” Mary saw an underserved population, knew that something had to be done to make their lives better, and kept going by taking it one day, task, challenge at a time. Today, STARS serves 180 adults with intellectual disabilities and their family’s everyday because of her dedication and focus.

Looking into 2011 and beyond, we see others setting a course for the future of STARS, a future that may not be fully realized for years. In 1973 the shift for individuals with disabilities was from institutionalization, to programs and services. Today, the shift is from sheltered employment to full integration into the community. Scottsdale Unified School District took a big step in 2010 towards creating the next phase of services for individuals with intellectual disabilities by partnering with STARS and creating the Cholla Special Needs Community Campus. Companies such as Fry’s and Scottsdale Healthcare are leading the way locally by creating the employment future for adults with disabilities along with STARS and others who continue onward by taking it one day at a time.

One person was able to look ahead and take action, where do you think you can make a difference?

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Oh the power you have…and the responsibility

By Katy Kelewae, Class 22
STARS, Development Associate & Volunteer Coordinator

Yesterday I experienced something very difficult for me. Someone abandoned two small dogs on my street. The dogs were left on a Monday night with a small scoop of food on a napkin and no water. I saw them on Tuesday morning. Now, anyone who knows me personally will expect this story to end with me now owning five dogs rather than the three I already have. Spoiler Alert – it doesn’t.

What this experience made me realize is that many people don’t know all of the amazing services in our community for virtually any need imaginable. When I was fortunate enough to work for Scottsdale Leadership, I was exposed to so many caring individuals and organizations that are making the world better one issue/person/dog at a time. Not everyone has this knowledge.

What does School House Rock say? Knowledge is Power!

But with this “Power” comes a responsibility. That responsibility is to act when something isn’t right. That responsibility is to call the agencies and organizations that can help a bad situation. That responsibility is to spread the word so more people are informed.

Often times, people choose not to act because they think someone else will. Do you remember the story of the brutal killing of a homeless man who stopped a mugging in New York City this April? Nobody helped and for more than an hour, the man who saved a woman from being mugged was dying on the sidewalk as people walked past.

The people that are expected to act when nobody else will are those who are informed, connected to services and agencies, and aren’t afraid to act. They are you and me.

I acted on the Power I had. I made some phone calls and now the dogs are safely being kept at Maricopa County until one of the dogs, the Chihuahua, delivers her puppies. During this time, I am working with other agencies to find them a home, rescue or foster family.

What will you do with your “Power”?

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WineStyles Evening this Saturday

By Katy Kelewae
STARS Development Associate & Volunteer Coordinator

As any nonprofit can attest, the current economy isn’t making the business of charity any easier. Scottsdale Training and Rehabilitation Services (STARS), a local nonprofit serving adults with developmental and cognitive disabilities for nearly 40 years, is appealing to individuals social side to raise money after the heavily-government funded nonprofit suffered significant cuts during the past year.

Scottsdale Leadership alumna Virginia Korte, Class 3 is the current President/CEO of STARS. Alumni that currently serve on the board of directors for STARS include:
Katherine Hutton, Class 19, Thunderbird School of Global Management
Carder Hunt, Class 7, Retired
Senator Carolyn Allen, Class 1, District 8 Senator
Hanna Khleif, Class 15, Chaparral Suites
Wendy Lyons, Class 13, Community Stewardship Scottsdale Healthcare
Alesia Martin, class 22, Scottsdale Insurance Company
Willie McDonald, Class 23, City of Scottsdale

This Saturday, May 15, from 5 to 8 p.m., WineStyles at Tatum and Shea is donating portions of sales to STARS. WineStyles offers five wine tastings for only $15 – but from 5 to 8 p.m. this Saturday, $10 of every tasting goes directly to STARS. Likewise, 20 percent of all wine sales will be donated as well.

What could be easier than bringing out some friends to enjoy some great wine and support a local nonprofit?

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