Community Engagement Manager
Though Marisa has had a lifelong passion for volunteering, her real interest in non-profit work began as a student at Iowa State University (Go Cyclones!) where she was an integral part of founding and growing a young non-profit, Hopeful Africa. The organization partnered with schools in Kenya to enhance educational opportunities in the local communities. After traveling to Kenya with the group and seeing the impact of all her hard work, Marisa knew working on causes bigger than herself was what she wanted to do with her career.
Upon graduation, she set out to explore various fields that intrigued her. Her first stop was Phoenix, working as a patient ombudsman and legislative analyst with the Arizona Department of Health and Human Services. After that, she returned to Iowa to work as a field organizer on a midterm political campaign. Unsure what to do after the election (aside from taking a much needed vacation), she journeyed westward to Jackson Hole on a whim in August 2015.
It didn’t take long in the valley before Marisa realized this place was special. She began volunteering with the Alliance immediately and enrolled in the Conservation Leadership Institute. When an opportunity presented itself that would allow her to both stay in Jackson long-term and work for a cause she cared about, she pounced on the chance. She is excited to blend her interests in non-profit work, grassroots organizing, and the outdoors in her new role.
Ten-year-old Marisa, who split her time between playing in the woods behind her house and journaling about politics and current events, would certainly be enthralled by the work 25-year-old Marisa is doing now.