Steering Committee Member Spotlight: Kristin Thompson


Kristin Thompson

American Heart Association

Kristin ThompsonWhat is a fun fact about yourself? I LOVE to DANCE! I have trained in ballet, tap, jazz and ballroom. And I’m a forever fan of Michael Jackson!

What are your guiding principles in life? My guiding principles are  a.) Never settle for ordinary but strive to be extraordinary  b.) Embrace diversity and strive to make sure all voices are heard  c.) Give back! – It’s important to invest in our future.

What is one thing you want people in the community to know about you? I try to live my life by a quote from George Bernard Shaw “I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community, and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. Life is no ‘brief candle’ to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for a moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to the future generations.”

Do you have any words of wisdom for other young leaders? It’s “ok” to not have your life fully mapped out. Life is a journey. Take time to find what your passion is, and go for it!

What attracted you to Syracuse and why did you decide to stay in the area? Syracuse is home. I was born and raised right here in the city. I stayed to be closer to my family but I also feel a commitment to give back to a community that helped me.

What do you like about Central New York? Believe it or not, I like the weather! I like that we get to experience all 4 seasons (even though winter tends to take up most of it)

What do you hope to improve in Central New York? I hope to improve the social life of CNY. I want Syracuse to be an enticing place to live, work and play!

How would you attract and keep the youth in the Syracuse area? I believe future jobs lie in Eds and Meds (Education and Medical). CNY’s largest employer ( Upstate Medical University) is JUST that! – a teaching hospital! I would encourage youth to think about careers in the medical or higher education fields.

Where do you see the community in the next 10 years? I see the community becoming even more diverse in terms of people and the direction of the economy.  Members of minority groups will soon become the majority in terms of numbers. I’d like to see manufacturing jobs and an entrepreneurial spirit will make a come back and generate wealth in the community.

Is there a local leader you admire and if so, why? Beth Broadway. She currently holds the position of President and CEO of Interfaith Works of CNY but I met her as a sophomore in high school when I participated in a community wide dialogue program in which we were trained on how to break down barriers and evoke a discussion about acceptance and inclusion.

What have you learned while in YLU that you didn’t know before? I didn’t know how much of an impact Young Leaders can have on a community. Since it’s inception, YLU has definitely made a name for ourselves. The community is taking notice to who we are and what we are about – and I love it!

What YLU event had the greatest impact on you and why? I think the tour of the Salvation Army had the greatest impact on me. Everyone has heard of the Salvation Army, but the tour gave me a chance to see first hand, the youth shelters and residential programs they offer. The Salvation Army has a mission to “encourage and empower those in need to reach their full potential”.

Why do you believe in giving back to your community through Young Leaders financial and volunteer commitment? Young Leaders affords me the opportunity to give back by exposing me to different non profits that serve a particular population in need. There is a lot of NEED in Central New York and YLU gives me a chance to help where help is needed.