Kylie McCreesh, ’13, lights up when she talks about leadership and service – which means she positively glows when she talks about the past four years at Richmond and her plans after graduation.

“Richmond gave me a place where I could really put theory into practice,” she says. “There were so many ways I could lead and serve others.”  

When she stepped onto campus, she found a world of opportunities, possibilities and surprises waiting for her.

She got involved with Women Involved in Living and Learning (WILL) and Build It, a program coordinated by the Bonner Center for Civic Engagement. She also joined a student organization, Students Stopping the Trafficking of People, and worked with the Richmond Families Initiative.

And she applied to the Jepson School of Leadership Studies.

“I didn’t know before visiting that you could major in leadership studies, and I thought that was the coolest thing,” she says. “It was a natural fit. I was involved in student council in middle school and by high school I was going to leadership conferences.”

It only seemed natural to study what she was passionate about, she says.

“Jepson encourages students to explore who is considered a leader, why they are a leader and the ethics that support leadership,” says McCreesh, who paired her leadership studies major with a major in Latin American and Iberian studies. “It also encourages you to apply theory to practice in internships and classes like Justice and Civil Society.”

She interned with the Montgomery County district attorney’s office in Pennsylvania and spent a summer at Yale working with a leadership for social change program. On campus, she worked with Residence Life and received the “Rookie of the Year” award for exceptional leadership skills.

When it came time to figure out life after college, she knew she wanted to “learn more about leadership and how I can help others.”

She will begin a graduate program this fall in intercultural service, leadership and management at SIT Graduate Institute and then spend 27 months with the Peace Corps to fulfill the program’s practicum requirement.

“It’s a theory to practice model,” says McCreesh. “After Richmond, it seemed like the perfect fit.”