Meet our newest Board Member: Kristen Byers

Meet our newest Board Member: Kristen Byers

Kristen Byers is a nature-based 4K teacher for a program that is partnered with West Bend School District, Riveredge Nature Center, and Kettle Moraine YMCA. She has a bachelor’s degree in English literature from UW-Milwaukee and a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Concordia University-Mequon and is a state-licensed teacher in early childhood education. She lives in Fredonia with her family.

How did you hear about GiGi’s Playhouse?

“I have 3 children, Eleanor, 11, Lillian, 9, and Henry, 7. My daughter, Lilly, has Down syndrome, and when she was 2 years old GiGi’s Playhouse-Milwaukee opened its doors to our community. I heard about the Playhouse through friends that have children with Down syndrome. I remember my first visit to GiGi’s Playhouse Milwaukee; I felt as if I entered a place that was welcoming, supportive, and safe.”

Why did you want to become more involved as a Board Member?

“I wish to work as an advocate for children and families with Down syndrome and disabilities. I feel that GiGi’s Playhouse-Milwaukee’s free programming and support for local families is essential to our community. I believe strongly in GiGi’s mission of acceptance for all and changing how the world perceives people with Down syndrome. My family is a GiGi’s family and I want to contribute all I can in support of this mission.”

How has this been rewarding for you?

“I joined the board as planning for 2021’s Brew HaHa was underway. Sharing GiGi’s important mission with businesses and people in the community that didn’t have prior knowledge of who we are and the great things we do has been an extremely rewarding experience. I enjoy talking with people about what an amazing organization GiGi’s Playhouse is and the awesome kids and families we help support!”

We welcome new Board members who are interested in contributing their special talents, leadership experience, and/or nonprofit board experience to change the way the world views Down syndrome and send a global message of acceptance for all.

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