Getting Things Done
Kristina Reuber had no intention of returning home to Rockford after graduating from Loyola University in Chicago. But then she had a change of heart.
“I came back with a different set of eyes and a sense of maturity,” she says. “You can get involved and progress in your career at a quicker pace here than you can in a bigger city. Coming back to Rockford was the best move I’ve ever made.”
A Rockford Jefferson High School graduate, Reuber worked for La Voz Latina as director of the youth department and then became the director of Golden Apple in 2012. Running a small nonprofit as the only paid staff member was eye-opening for her.
“It was really important to give the community an opportunity to build an appreciation for the teaching profession,” she says. “It also provided me the chance to get to know various aspects of the community and develop many relationships.”
These days, Reuber is director of Welcome Center Relations for Rockford Public Schools. She oversees a department that is responsible for the K-12 enrollment for the district. “I like that oftentimes my staff are the first faces many families see, she says.
Reuber has made a priority of giving back to her hometown. Over the years, she’s volunteered for the Rockford Coronado Concert Association board, United Way of Rock River Valley, Transform Rockford and now Next Rockford. “The best way to make change is to get busy,” she says. “Not everything needs a committee to get things done.”
Her latest project is serving as a mentor for Rockford Promise, a nonprofit scholarship program that supports Rockford Public Schools students in their pursuit of college. “The scholars are first-generation college students who need guidance from people outside of their usual network. Just being a college student was definitely a learning curve for me, as a first-generation student.”
Reuber, an environmental science minor in college, does her part to reduce her carbon footprint. She and her husband have installed solar panels in their home and Reuber recently purchased an electric car, a Chevy Bolt Premier, to save on gas.
“I can see where this movement is going,” she says. “The tax incentives are there. There’s no downside to it. Plus, this is the nicest car I’ve ever had.”