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Kathleen Voss ñ making her mark

ìAn arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. So when life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means that itís going to launch you into something great.î -UnknownKathleen Voss said the quote is her favorite and one she can relate to when life hands her challenges. And there are many challenges as the Falcon School District 49 internship coordinator ñ a job she evolved as the first person to hold the position.When Voss interviewed for the D 49 internship coordinator in 2009, she asked the panel of interviewers to tell her about the job. She said the panel of people laughed and told her they didnít know how to answer that question. They were looking for someone to come in and start the program from scratch.ìMy wheels started spinning,î Voss said. ìI started getting so excited about the possibilities because Iíve only been hired for jobs where I took over someone elseís job and then improved it. But I never started something from the ground up.îVoss had plenty of experience under her belt to take on the challenge of the D 49 position.Born and raised in Oregon, Voss attended Walla Walla College in Walla Walla, Wash., where she reunited with her childhood crush, Ron Voss. In 1985, after Ron Voss joined the U.S. Air Force, they married and eventually moved to Spokane, Wash., where their two children ñ Sean and Stephen ñ were born. The Air Force brought them to Colorado Springs, and they now reside in Falcon. Ron Voss is retired from the Air Force but works out of Schriever Air Force Base as a satellite engineer for Ball Aerospace.After moving to Colorado, Voss stayed at home with her children for awhile and later began substitute teaching.Voss also worked as a file clerk for a car dealership in the Springs and worked her way up the ladder, eventually becoming vice president of operations. Four years later, Voss started her own bookkeeping business. Despite a solid client list, Voss wasnít thrilled with working from home. ìIt got really overwhelming and the one thing I learned about working from home is that you never check out,î she said. ìYou never stop working.î She closed her business and didnít seek another job right away.After 9/11, Voss wanted to go back to work ñ in a position that would be valuable to the country. ìI didnít want to join the military or anything like that so I applied for a job with Transportation Security Administration.î More than 300,000 people applied for jobs with TSA but only 10,000 applicants were accepted, she said.During her three years with the TSA at the Colorado Springs Airport, Voss said she had many stories about ìthe depths people would go to try to get things on planes.î Voss left the position because of a repetitive motion injury and other injuries.Voss has also worked for a temporary agency and as a full-time leasing agent for an apartment community, but the long commute led her to another job search.Using what she refers to as a ìgeographical job search,î Voss looked for jobs close to home and thatís when she snagged the D 49 internship coordinator position. ìI came up with this great idea on how to job search and didnít realize it would help me in my next job,î Voss said. ìI teach kids what a geographical job search is because when you are making minimum wage you donít want to spend most of it in gas. You want to find something close to your school or close to your home.îIn the last three years, Voss has broken new ground with the internship program and has had her share of success stories. She has coordinated several job fairs, including a five-district job exposition, where students had the opportunity to visit more than 60 companies.In addition to arranging meetings between students and local companies, Voss meets with students one-on-one, as well as in their classrooms; where she discusses her job-workshop program. The hour-long, three-day workshops include resume writing, choosing references, properly completing applications, developing a two-minute pitch and the appropriate clothing for the job interview. Voss also spends time on how to network for success.As many in the work force know, the benefits of networking can be widespread. That goes for student internships as well. Voss said she found an internship for a Falcon High School senior at KXRM, a local television station in the Springs. ìShe (the student) networked within the broadcasting community and got some really great references for the college she applied to in Fort Collins,î Voss said. Networking in college helped her secure a job at Channel 9 News in Denver, and the student is now beginning an internship at Fox News in New York City. ìShe sent me a picture of herself with Sean Hannity,î Voss said. ìShe is networking big time in that industry.îTo earn half a credit for the internship, Voss said the students must complete 135 hours during a specific amount of time.Besides the hands-on experience, she said there are multiple benefits for high school students opting for an internship. ìWhat I have learned is if you want to go to dental school or veterinary school, having an internship on your high school transcript holds more weight than being in the top 10 percent of their class,î Voss said.Her passion for her job and people is relative to life outside of work, too.In 2010, Voss ran a half-marathon in Seattle to help raise money on behalf of her sister, who was diagnosed with lymphoma. She raised $4,300 and hasnít stopped running. In 2011, Voss finished a full marathon in Paris. She is currently training for the Nike half-marathon, which takes place in San Francisco in October.Voss also served as co-chair for this yearís American Cancer Societyís Relay for Life for the Falcon/Peyton community. ìThe American Cancer Society asked us to reach a goal of $27,000, and we raised $51,000,î she said.Reflecting on her life thus far, Voss said, ìIf it all ended tomorrow, I think that I made a mark in a good way.î

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