Kara Van de Grift

Kara Van de Grift, MSW, MSPH
Health Educator

Kara Van de Grift joined the Poe Center in October 2012 as a Health Educator.  She has a passion for education, advocacy, and health promotion for women and children of all ages and is excited to share her knowledge and enthusiasm with Poe Center program participants. In August 2012, Kara earned her Master of Social Work (MSW) and a Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) in Maternal and Child Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Before arriving at the Poe Center, Kara was a graduate intern with NC Prevention Partners’ Schools Team where she worked with schools and districts across North Carolina to promote changes to nutrition and physical activity policies and implement school-based obesity prevention and work-site wellness programs.  She is passionate about all aspects of school health, but has specific interests in physical activity, nutrition, family life and anti-bullying. She believes in the importance of establishing strong working relationships with schools and communities to improve the health and academic achievement of all students. From 2010-2011, Kara also worked as a social work case management intern with WakeMed – Pediatrics in Raleigh, broadening her clinical knowledge of physical, social and emotional impacts on children’s health. Prior to her internships and attending graduate school, Kara was a passionate elementary school teacher in Wake County Public Schools, Fort Myers, FL, Madison, WI and Sydney, Australia, where she worked with many economically and linguistically diverse students, staff, and families.

Kara is originally from Madison, WI where she attended the University of Wisconsin – Madison and received her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, as well as a minor in K-12 Health Education and Certificates in Women and Gender Studies.

When Kara is not at the Poe Center, she likes to read, travel, try new restaurants, and spend time outdoors with her partner, Michael, and their loveable puppy Luna.

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