Kasi Carter cannot say enough positive about her native Colorado Springs.

“I truly love Colorado Springs,” Carter said. “My growth as a leader and a young professional reflects the growth of the community.”

Carter, 26, works as program manager for the Leading Edge program at Leadership Pikes Peak.

A Colorado College graduate, she took the Leadership Now program at LPP. After graduating from the program, its management team asked her to apply for the Leading Edge program manager’s post, which had just opened.

She’s worked there almost three years.

“I absolutely love it. It’s the best job, working with teenagers who don’t think they have leadership skills, developing them into the awesome leaders of tomorrow,” Carter said.

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Outside work, Carter is excited about her upcoming nuptials with Nathan Dwyer, a manufacturing engineer.

She belongs to Toastmasters International, a nonprofit geared to improve leadership and public speaking skills. With a degree in theater, Carter is passionate about the arts. She sits on the executive committee of the board of the Pikes Peak Arts Council.

“I once did a speech on how you have no excuse to not go to the theater this weekend,” she said. She said she’s drawn to at least one arts event in Colorado Springs every week, whether it’s the theater, a fine art exhibit or any number of cultural events in the arts.

LPP Executive Director Laraine Gillespie nominated Carter for the award.

“It’s the attitude,” Gillespie said. “She has a terrific attitude. She is always willing to step up and take on a project, and I trust it will get done. She’s smart and thoughtful about processes. She’ll research and tackle the task on her own, and I never have to worry about what the outcome will be.”

Carter said she thinks her supervisor nominated her because she is passionate about Colorado Springs.

“As a young leader, I have potential to grow, just as our community has the potential to grow. I’m passionate about my own growth as well as the growth of the community,” Carter said. “I’m trying to make the community as awesome as I think it can be. The potential is there.”

— Marija B. Vader