“How does Kids Voting Durham do so much each election?”
That is something community members often ask us. The answer is that we have awesome Advisory Board members, volunteers, and partners like Durham youth groups, students, educators, schools, and local business sponsors that are essential to Kids Voting Durham carrying out its mission to help Durham’s young people understand and believe in the power they have as active citizens and informed voters. These folks are Civic Superheroes who broaden the reach and impact of Kids Voting Durham’s work in so many ways.
Look for a new KVD Civic Superhero profile from us every month. Inspired to become a Kids Voting Durham volunteer, partner organization, donor or business sponsor? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 919.560.7321 for more information about current opportunities.
The first time voting is a powerful experience; especially for Kids Voting Durham Advisory Board Member Kim Oberle who distinctly remembers the warm school gym she was in as a first-time voter. She describes it as a profound moment and the first time she felt like an adult who had a voice. Oberle wants to share that feeling with kids and to help Durham’s youth see how powerful their voices and votes are. She believes “kids need to be civically engaged to become adults who are civically engaged”, and this lead her to become a board member for Kids Voting Durham. Serving since 2007, Kim is KVD’s longest-serving board member.
Kim grew up in a family that fostered community awareness and discussion of issues. Being civically engaged was a part of her life early on and influenced her personal and professional path. As a college student, Kim had the opportunity to work for the Presidential Classroom for Young Americans where she taught students about the world of government and how to be civically active.
Kim currently works as the Durham City Parks & Recreation Manager of Outdoor Recreation and City Lakes where she enjoys Durham’s beautiful parks & the opportunities they offer to Durham citizens. She cultivates understanding and stewardship of the natural world, as well as leadership skills, in Durham’s youth. Kim has helped Kids Voting Durham foster meaningful partnerships with several DPR programs such as My Durham.
As part of Kids Voting, Kim helps guide the direction of the program and has served in almost every possible volunteer capacity. Her main goal is to “lead kids to acknowledge that their vote matters”. She had the opportunity to do this first hand while volunteering with Kids Voting at the North Durham Library. Here, she saw a “diverse group of both parents and children” who all came together to encourage young people to be active voters.
Kim’s commitment to helping kids feel a part of the civic process is reflected not only in the work she has done with Kids Voting Durham but throughout every aspect of her life.