by WREN Staff on Mar 16, 2022
Our nest is growing! Welcome, Katie Parris, WREN’s new Policy and Programs Assistant.
Where are you from?
I am a lifelong resident of Spartanburg, SC. For the longest time, I wanted nothing more than to leave Spartanburg, but ended up falling in love with Wofford College where I completed my Bachelor’s degree. When it came time to make decisions about a career and graduate school, I had developed an appreciation for the culture and collaboration I had seen in the South Carolina nonprofit space.
What did you do before coming to WREN?
Before coming to WREN, I worked at AccessHealth Spartanburg, an organization which serves as a connection to care for low-income uninsured individuals through donated care and case management. I first served as an AmeriCorps VISTA, where I was instrumental in the organization’s capacity building efforts as the organization expanded services to neighboring counties. After the completion of my service term, I moved into a direct service role coordinating client referrals to external organizations.
What drove you to get involved in this cause?
Due to the events last few years, I think as a society we have had to step back and think about how the current systems in place have created and will continue to create inequitable outcomes if left unchanged. I see systems change through policy and advocacy as the most effective way to make a lasting, positive impact on the lives of people with historically unheard voices.
When you’re not working, how do you like to spend your time?
Recently, I’ve needed some positive, feel-good TV! Currently I am binge watching Queer Eye. I also enjoy cooking for friends and family. I recently got a pasta maker, and have treated friends to pasta made from scratch. I love trying new things in the kitchen, even making up recipes as I go.
If you could meet one person from any period of time, who would it be?
I would love to meet Julie Andrews! From The Sound of Music, and Mary Poppins, to Queen of Genovia in Princess Diaries, Julie Andrews is a childhood favorite.
What is a slogan you live by?
My grandfather (Pop), always says, “Make a decision and call it right.” Life is full of uncertainty and choices, and we have to be confident in the decisions we make with the information we have!
What’s one thing you’re excited about that’s coming up in 2022?
Finally finishing school and graduating with my MPH!