Kenna Burns is incredibly successful in her efforts at the East Central Kansas Economic Opportunity Corp . Recently, she worked to expand the effort of the Rural Mobile Food Pantry in her area. She also helped launch her agency’s first fundraising event: a 5K against poverty. But her good work doesn't stop in her office. Kenna is in her 3rd year as President of her local Chamber of Commerce, is the volunteer treasurer for her county’s Salvation Army, and was recently appointed to the Burlingame, KS City Council! We asked Kenna to share her Community Action story:
"I was a high school dropout, got married at 16, continued working part time jobs, and had my first child at 19. In 1999 I decided to go back to school, got my GED from the Ottawa Adult Education Center, scored high enough that I was able to get a scholarship that, along with Pell Grants, helped pay for a community college education. In 2001 my oldest began attending the local Head Start center, and the teachers, volunteers, and family service worker there were great assets.They continually encouraged me, even as a mother of two young children, still working part time, telling me my dreams could come true. It took years, and the help of ECKAN and the Home Based Head Start program, but I was able to complete my Bachelor's Degree.
Now I take the lessons I learned from the extra encouragement and support I received and apply them to my work in Osage County. With every customer who enters my office, I remember that I have the power to help someone else realize their true potential."