Kate Starks brings her legal, educational, and arts backgrounds to The Opportunity Agenda where she supports the VP of Institutional Advancement, as well as the development and communications teams.
Executive Assistant for Institutional Advancement
As Executive Assistant to the Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Kate Starks brings her legal, educational, and arts backgrounds to The Opportunity Agenda where she also supports the development and communications teams.
Prior to this role, Kate served as a paralegal for seven years in Akron, Ohio. She supported defense and appellate work for incarcerated adults, as well as youth and immigration work, and elder care. She also helped clients find and maintain affordable housing, and explore relief options to save their homes from foreclosure. Kate repeatedly witnessed the systemic issues of the court and prison systems, and they are some of the main motivators that led to joining The Opportunity Agenda.
In 2014, Kate was introduced to a local arts community of creatives and activists engaging in storytelling through theater, dance, juggling, and other visual and movement-based art forms. She believes that movement and creation in any form promotes wellness, clarity, autonomy, and liberation. She is forever grateful to the vibrant arts communities of Cleveland and Akron, Ohio for helping her connect with these parts of herself. Kate has also volunteered in coordinating retreats across the U.S where she developed several skills in marketing, communication strategies, content creation, community building, and event planning. A few notable experiences include: being filmed as an extra in a Netflix Original film, providing technique and act-building tips for a Cirque Du Soleil hula hoop act, and volunteering with the Consent Culture Initiative at a variety of arts events to engage attendees in community discussions around making those shared spaces safe, inclusive, and accessible to all.
Kate also spent time in the educational and mental health spaces supporting programming at a local wellness center-with a special focus on programs for folks in lieu of prison or jail time, and working closely with the LeBron James I Promise School, assisting teachers with implementing new learning modalities into their curriculum. She worked closely with parents to help students apply for scholarships, manage their IEP’s, and ensuring they have all of the accommodations they need.
Throughout her career, Kate developed a deep passion for collective care, where everyone has the resources they need to thrive whether it be access to food, health, education, creative outlets, mental health support, community, or justice. Her role with the Opportunity Agenda allows her to stay in relationship with these issues.