Meet Your Education and Youth Development Career Peer Educator: Kirstena Lilley

Dreama Johnson
Photo of Career Peer Educator, Kirstena Lilley

Meet Your Education and Youth Development Career Community Career Peer Educator: Kirstena Lilley

Year: 4th Year

Major: Psychology

Hometown: Charlottesville, VA

Favorite Thing about Being a Career Peer Educator: I love connecting with other UVA students and hearing about their journeys and aspirations because it makes me feel more connected to the UVA community. It's very gratifying when I can remind a peer that they don't need to have everything figured out (in fact, most of us don't!) and it's always great to see a student leaving their appointment with the confidence and tools to take the next step in their career development.

Why Education and Youth Development? Working with youth has been a passion of mine for a long time, even before I considered pursuing a career in education. In high school, I started volunteering with elementary school students and coaching youth sports, and I have since had the opportunity to become a camp counselor over the past few summers. For me, working in education and youth development roles has always been an incredibly fun and rewarding experience. I'm looking forward to helping other UVA students explore the many different opportunities and roles within the Education and Youth Development field.

Future Plans: I'm currently planning to pursue a career as a school counselor and I'm specifically hoping to work with high school students in the future. This fall, I will be applying to master's degree programs specializing in school counseling as I consider what my next steps will be following graduation. The school counseling profession combines my interests in human services and working hands-on with youth in order to empower students to thrive academically and personally.

Fun Fact: I once won a game of knockout at JPJ during halftime of a UVA Women's Basketball game.