Nov. 13, 2012 at 9:39am

Meet KidsQuest's New Director of Advancement

Meet Shelley Saunders, KidsQuest's brand new Director of Advancement! In a nonprofit organization like KidsQuest, the Director of Advancement helps raise money to support the museum by procuring donations and grants. Keep reading to learn more about her! 

When did you start working at KidsQuest? 
September 2012

Why did you choose to work at KidsQuest? 
It is a really exciting time for KidsQuest as we launch the new capital campaign for the  downtown location. There is also a growing number of families and an increase in diversity of families that KidsQuest serves in Bellevue.

You were previously at Seattle Children’s Theater, what do you like so much about child-related organizations? 
I love serving children! There is an important study by Stanford – if children aren’t exposed to the arts and sciences before age 18, they won’t come back to have any interest in them. I believe it is crucial to spark that enthusiasm in a child.

What has been the best part about working at KidsQuest so far? 
I am so impressed that the KidsQuest staff is so focused on the success of the organization. I’ve never seen such incredible cohesion by the staff to make an organization successful. I am quite impressed by the teamwork and dedication to KidsQuest’s mission, to create learning through the power of play and exploration that connects children to their communities and the world.

What has been the most surprising? 
How small the staff quarters are! There are no private conversations; everyone is a part of each other’s conversations.

Who is going to win the Super Bowl? 
SEAHAWKS! We have an exciting new and young quarterback.

I am going to guess that as a child you did not want to grow up to be the Director of Advancement at KidsQuest Children’s Museum. What did you want to be when you grew up? 
The White House Social Secretary; I wanted to be Leticia Baldrige. I wanted to be the person in charge of protocol.

Who was your role model growing up/ who was a big influence as a child? 
I had a really dynamic and unique middle school journalism teacher. I did not initially have plans to attend college, but then she got me on the college path and I attended the University of Washington. Go Dawgs!

When you were a child, did you visit any places similar to KidsQuest? 
Not many children’s museums, but we visited science museums around the country. I especially remember the American Museum of Natural History in New York. And we visited planetariums too. Although when my son was young, we always took him to children’s museums.

What is one thing that not many people know about you? 
I took a lot of baton lessons as a child. Then I taught baton lessons all through high school and college. It was a great and easy way to make money.

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