Kris Light to return to the AYF as Director of Strategic Program Initiatives

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The American Youth Foundation will welcome back esteemed former colleague and community member Kris Light this summer. Light will join the AYF Leadership Team as Director of Strategic Program Initiatives in July.

Light has a long history with Merrowvista, most recently as the Director of Camp Programs from 2009 to 2019. His foundation with the AYF began as a seasonal Four Trails leader, camp coordinator, and Community and Schools Program team member. He continued to work seasonally with the AYF, as well for the National Science Foundation in Antarctica and Westminster School in Atlanta until he began his full-time career with the AYF in 2008.

In 2019, Light accepted an opportunity to work at Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, where he is currently the Director of Integrated Outreach. In this role, he develops relationships with families and alumni, helps raise funds for the school’s annual fund and capital projects, and leads the marketing, communications, and events teams.

“I have learned a tremendous amount in the time since I last worked with the AYF and am eager to bring that knowledge back to the place that inspired and informed my path,” Light said.

As Director of Strategic Program Initiatives, he will serve as head of the organization’s program division, working with Miniwanca and Merrowvista to identify measurable program outcomes and set new and achievable goals. He will also partner with the development team to build relationships with supporters, partner organizations, and grant-making institutions.

“Working with AYF participants and staff helped define my sense of purpose. I am so happy to rejoin the team and offer all I can to support this mission,” Light said. “It’s an exciting time for the AYF to think boldly about what more we can do to serve youth.”

AYF Vice President Liz Marshall said Light will also serve on the AYF Leadership Team to help realize strategic plan goals and ensure the AYF aligns with its mission to support the health of the organization and the youth it serves.

“Kris brings an incredible perspective as a longtime leader in the Merrowvista community who deeply understands the impact our programs have,” Marshall said. “He understands the science and data behind successful programming, and he recognizes the value of personal stories behind larger trends. Kris’ guiding presence on the team will help the AYF rebuild our powerful adventure programs for the next generation.”