Hometown: Cedar Rapids, IA
“After the NAFOA Leadership Summit and Fall conference, I hope to walk away with a better understanding of tribal economies across the U.S. while exploring a variety of innovative ideas to take into consideration. Additionally, I hope to meet with a variety of indigenous professionals and practice my professional skills learned through the Academy.”
Kyrsha Balderas grew up in a multi-generation household on the Meskwaki Indian Settlement in Tama, IA. She grew up with a large family and always had small children around her. She attended Coe College and majored in Sociology. While at Coe, she became a prominent voice for mentoring and creating programs for students of color. Now, Kyrsha is a College Possible Coach at Coe College. She mentors first-generation and low-income students to overcome barriers toward college graduation. In her first year of coaching, she graduated seven students, created an interactive recruitment presentation, and participated in a graduate course on Social Emotional Learning. She prefers movies over series and babies over pets.