In May, Kiersten DeHavenA’10 was inducted into the AHN Athletics Hall of Fame. Although she participated in several sports during her 14 years at the Academy, it was rowing in which she excelled. While rowing for AHN, she finished 4th at the US Scholastic Championship in women’s single sculls, as well as 1st at Florida State Championship in women’s single sculls and in women’s four. As a member of the Tampa Rowing Club, DeHaven finished 6th at the Youth Nationals in women’s double sculls, and she finished 1st at South East US Regional Championship in women’s double sculls and at Florida State Championship in women’s four. She rowed the stroke seat. DeHaven was a member of the Junior National Team, attending the US National Team Sculling Development Camp and the US National Team Sculling Selection Camp for World Championship.
At the Academy, she was a member of the National Honor Society, Ambassadors, and National Forensic League and served as a missionary to Ruskin, Mississippi and Appalachia. DeHaven matriculated to the University of Notre Dame, where she was a member of the varsity rowing team. She was a 4-year Monogram Club member, a member of the Big East Season Championship team and a National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament participant. She was boat leader at the NCAA championships, helping the team to break Notre Dame’s school record. She served as the Notre Dame Athletics’ conference liaison to the Big East and Atlantic Coast Conferences, initiated the rowing team’s first charity event, the Erg-A-Thon, and was the senior legacy campaign officer for the Notre Dame Development Office.
Upon graduating from Notre Dame with a degree in political science, DeHaven joined the Peace Corps, where she served in Western Samoa for two years as an education volunteer. She also spent time in New Zealand coaching before she enrolled at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service. DeHaven recently graduated with a master’s in global human development. While at Georgetown, she worked for the Center for Social Justice as a graduate assistant. She also won the Entrepreneurship Pitch Competition, besting 86 other teams. Her pitch was for Kidame Mart, an Ethiopian social enterprise for which she now works. Kidame Mart will use the $20,000 winnings to hire female refugees to distribute their products, including solar lamps, clean cook stoves and fortified nutrition products, within refugee camps. This will not only allow female refugees to gain employment and secure economic empowerment, but it will also allow those within the camps access to affordable, high-impact products.
At her induction, DeHaven talked about the potential sports have to empower women and advance them in leadership roles. “Therefore,” she said, “I ask the coaches in the room that we teach these athletes how to lead. I ask the athletes in the room to support each other. I want to see more women supporting women. We need each other as mentors and cheerleaders, supporting one another’s dreams. We are privileged to be a part of the Academy sisterhood and must seize the opportunity to help each other develop into leaders.”