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Stina Watkins

At age 12, Krystine "Stina" Watkins was a charter member of the LEAD (Leadership, Education, Adventure and Direction) teen program. LEAD offers weekly dinner meetings and semi-monthly weekend outings to help low-income young people develop leadership skills. "Stina was so shy, she didn't open her mouth," says program founder and director Maj Rafferty. "Now she speaks in public wherever anyone wants to learn about LEAD." After graduation from Willamette High in 2003, Watkins stayed with LEAD as a volunteer. "We have five volunteers for each group of 15 kids," she says. "They meet Wednesday and Thursday evenings at Station 7." In 2004, Watkins was hired part-time as fundraising director. She is also a full-time student at the UO with a Ford Family Foundation Scholarship. In the long term, she hopes to build an endowment to provide stable funding for LEAD and to start programs in new locales. In the near term, she looks forward to LEAD's annual five-day raft trip on the Deschutes River in June. Volunteer training begins in August. Learn more at leadteen.com.

happening people

photograph and story by Paul Neevel

Eugene Weekly / 18 May 2006

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