Mom, volunteer, and valedictorian

Kristen Medrano came to Olive-Harvey College in August 2020 after the COVID-19 pandemic had started. She was a stay-at-home mom with five children at the time and a prior general manager in the restaurant business. Kristen was looking for a career change that was more conducive to juggling her personal life, children, and career, so she decided to pursue her associate degree in Child Development: Pre-School Education.

During her time at Olive-Harvey, Kristen joined the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, immediately becoming the Vice President of Scholarships. During her last semester, she served as the President of PTK.

Outside of school, Kristen is an avid volunteer. She is a parent ambassador for the Illinois Head Start Association; a parent representative for Region 1 on the Family Advisory Committee for Illinois Action for Children and the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development; a parent delegate for Early Head Start at El Valor Parent Committee; Co-President for the El Valor Parent Policy Council; and a parent delegate on the City of Chicago Parent Policy Council. Aside from these responsibilities, she also volunteers for children’s sports organizations within her community, coaching youth basketball and t-ball.

Kristen was named the valedictorian of the Olive-Harvey College class of 2022. After earning her associate degree from Olive-Harvey College, Kristen transferred to National Louis University to pursue her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. She is currently in her second quarter at NLU and plans to pursue her master’s degree upon completion. Ultimately, Kristen’s goal is to become an early childhood educator and a professor at her alma mater, Olive-Harvey College.