Karla Kiefer

Research & Evaluation Coordinator

I was born in Ecuador to a mother and father who were determined to set me and my brothers up for success. My father, a neurosurgeon, moved us to Argentina and then ultimately to the United States when I was 8 years old. He believed that here in the USA we had the best chance of becoming successful doctors. I knew no English when I arrived, and as I worked my way through my grade school years (and the US Immigration System), I wondered if college was even a reality for me, let alone a career in medicine. It was thanks to a number of mentors and advocates who saw my potential that I was accepted into Franklin & Marshall College where I dutifully signed up for the pre-med studies track. It took countless hours behind the lab bench, in class, and through extracurricular research, for me to realize that my heart wasn’t in medicine. Instead, I majored in Spanish with a concentration in Neuroscience and set out to follow my true passion: advocacy work in support of young people who went through similar experiences to my own. I worked for a nonprofit organization leading medical mission trips in Honduras, I tried sales in IT (an interesting and informative career tangent), I became the Statewide Coordinator for the Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center, I returned to my alma mater as an Assistant Director of Admissions, and I discovered NAF, the organization that brought it all together for me. NAF is where I can put my entire skill set to work: my analytical skill and my advocacy work combined. I’m so excited to be able to dedicate my energy to helping young people find their path; the one that really gets them where they want to go!