Kylee Strough ’03 currently serves as the president of the United Way of Greater St. Joseph. She is celebrating her 17th year with the United Way, including her 12th year as president. Strough loves working with different individuals around St. Joseph and being a “helper.” She is incredibly passionate assisting those in need around the St. Joseph community.
Strough initially chose to attend Missouri Western because she wanted to stay close to home. She knew she would be able to keep her part-time job, attend school and take advantage of the extracurriculars she was interested in. “It had everything I wanted and was in my backyard!” Strough joined the business department and knew it was where she belonged. She intended to work in a business and use volunteering to fulfill her need to serve the community. After graduation, she had the opportunity to volunteer with the United Way. Shortly following, a position opened up and she applied. She has been working there ever since.
Strough has remained strongly connected with the university throughout her life. “I have been fortunate to experience MWSU in several ways – as a kiddo growing up and going to basketball and football games on campus, as a student, as a member of the Board of Governors,” Strough said. “[My husband and I] are Gold Coat and Foundation supporters, and I serve on the Craig School of Business Advisory Council.”
She believes that people are the sum of all their experiences, but says she wouldn’t be where she is today – personally or professionally – without Missouri Western. “My degree path and experiences at MWSU prepared me to be able to handle much of what crosses my desk and to know when I need to reach out to an expert for help,” she said. “One of the things that I could not have gotten anywhere else except MWSU is a network of contacts.” Many of the professionals that came into her classes or that helped with activities during her time as a student are people she has had a chance to work with during her career.As a Missouri Western alumna serving as the president of the United Way of Greater St. Joseph, Strough sees an unlimited number of opportunities for the city and university to unite together in positive ways. “MWSU is our university. It’s here in our community. It’s providing jobs, attracting students and educating the next generation of our citizens,” Strough said. “You don’t have to be an alumni to support it: wear black and gold, attend events, be welcoming to students. They’re in St. Joseph – let’s give them a reason to stay!”