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Passionate About Youth Development in San Diego

An interview with Natalie Kutches, our San Diego LEAD Coordinator

Meet our LEAD Coordinator down in San Diego, Natalie Kutches. Get to know why she’s passionate about working with our youth below!

Where are you from and how did you end up at arc?

I am from Everett, WA but moved to San Diego to attend SDSU in 2008. After traveling, graduating college, and more traveling, I did two years of full time community service through the Baha’i Faith. During this time I learned to facilitate groups of youth, accompany other facilitators, and coordinate day and weeklong events. When I applied for a facilitator position at arc (and got a call for an interview 2 hours later), it seemed like a perfect fit. As I transitioned from a facilitator to a coordinator I couldn’t believe the overlap in my responsibilities at arc with my previous experience. It felt like a confirmation to be working here!

What do you do at arc?

I am the LEAD Coordinator for the San Diego region. One of my main responsibilities is coordinate the GOALS program for all of the SDUSD high schools, and a number of middle schools just north and south of San Diego. My other major focus is to plan and execute the SD LEADS Conferences for SDUSD and SDCOE high schools. I also put together and oversee other programs such as College and Career Bound, Career Aware, and adventure trips for independent clients.

“It was great to realize our program had made an impact in something so important as navigating the future profession of a high school student.”

What do you love most about working with youth?

I love that youth can do important things without being too serious. Youth will be working on a project, a plan, or a challenging activity but still find time to make jokes with each other and have casual conversation. When working with them I feel like I am on their schedule; we will accomplish what we set out to do, but not without some time to get to know each other and having a few laughs. It allows me to be in the moment.

Are you also passionate about influencing youth? Consider a career in after school. Join the arc team!

What has been one of your most inspiring, coolest, or fulfilling moments while working for arc?

One of my favorite moments while working at arc was during our College and Career Bound program hosted at SDSU over the summer. I was walking a group of students back to our meeting spot at the park after visiting the Union Tribune, as their second job tour of the day. While one student was talking to me about how the tour host had clarified her career path and offered to connect her to the industry, I could hear everyone around me having conversations about how much they learned on their tour and how it inspired them for their future. It was great to realize our program had made an impact in something so important as navigating the future profession of a high school student.

What do you love most about working at arc?

I love the amount of flexibility and creativity that is encouraged. As my supervisor, Brenna is always encouraging me to find a solution and trusts that I will “make it work.” We have created a lot of programs from scratch and improved them little by little. She has provided for a lot of room for me to grow professionally.

 

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