From the day Keller Karlstrom joined the Nonprofit Leadership Student Association at UND, the program’s director could tell he was a natural born leader.
The group’s project that semester was working with Prairie Harvest Mental Health of Grand Forks to renovate its thrift store. When they realized they needed more volunteers, Karlstrom made it happen.
“We needed some people power in order to paint and renovate the store,” said Heather Helgeson, UND’s nonprofit leadership program director since its inception in 2003. “He would come through with a horde of volunteers. (I would ask) Where did you get these people?”
Karlstrom, originally from Moorhead, Minn., also remembers that as a pivotal moment his leadership development on campus.
“We were working on the renovations and I just had a ton of fun with it,” he said.
Kalrstrom’s come a long way since that first step into volunteerism and leadership. Earlier this month, he was recognized as America’s Student Leader of the Year for his efforts to make a difference working with nonprofits at the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance’s national conference in Kansas City.
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