Mass Alliance is excited to name Karen Colón Hayes as a 2021 Rising Star for Malden City Council At-Large.
Karen has a degree is in Social Work and a passion for working with youth at risk. She worked through college at a summer job leading a Ropes and Confidence Course. The goal of the course was to increase self-esteem, problem solving abilities, conflict resolution, and leadership abilities for young people. She took these skills with her when leading the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program (MSYEP).
Karen has over 25 years experience in leadership, including management and director level positions. She was the Business Manager for an Architecture firm and a Family Counseling and Guidance Center, and the Director of Psychiatry Research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. She worked there until they made the decision as a family that she would stay home raising the girls until they were all in school.
During her days as an at home mom she spent her time being a girl scout troop leader, a sports mom, volunteering at the Linden STEAM Academy and organizing the FOOGI Fun & Fitness program at Patchell Park. It was during the FOOGI events that Karen became involved with local government and partnered to hold many community-centered events.
It was her connection to the community and her ability to organize that led Karen to a position in the Mayor’s Office. She has worked for the past nine years building programs and systems to help our most historically marginalized community members. Working on Youth Development Programs, Senior Center activities, interfaith vigils, and racial equity has been the most inspiring and satisfying work she has done to date.