Saint Joseph’s University Magazine, Summer 2018

Kristin Prinn ’04

Executive Director, Lifting Up Camden’s Youth

Kristin Prinn smiles at a table in front of a yellow wall background.

By Marisa (Fulton) Benjamin ’03

When Kristin Prinn ’04 announced at the Lifting Up Camden’s Youth (LUCY) Outreach Annual Dinner Dance that the Camden, New Jersey-based nonprofit would soon break ground on its dream building, the crowd erupted in a wave of thrilled disbelief. LUCY teens embraced each other through tears. Members of LUCY’s Outreach’s Board and staff excitedly traded ideas about potential possibilities for the new location: a bike share program, community gardening, a science lab with a 3D printer.

It was a defining moment for Prinn, LUCY Outreach’s founder and executive director, who, in her 11 years with the organization, has wholeheartedly dedicated herself to supporting Camden’s at-risk youth through educational, social, cultural and service-based programming to help them reach their fullest potential.

The new location —10,000 square feet of space when renovations are complete — will help LUCY increase its staff and services, ultimately affecting the lives of more teens. “This move means a better future for the youth, young adults and families we serve,” says Prinn, a licensed clinical social worker and Saint Joseph’s 2014 Ignatian Award recipient.

 

"It’s very important to me to help others with limited financial means have access to a Saint Joseph’s education." Kristin Prinn ’04

 

A significant part of LUCY’s core mission is college and career preparation. The organization has worked closely to support over 300 youth at every step of the college admissions process, all to help students stay focused on their education despite other external challenges they may face. Prinn’s commitment to helping others with their educational journeys began with her own. Embarking on her first year at SJU in 2000, she relied on the kindness of others to give her a solid head start.

“College was not easily affordable to me, but so many people helped my family through challenging times, and their support enabled me to do things I wouldn’t have been able to do,” she says. “For example, I was gifted a computer for college. The generosity of others got me to where I am today.”

As a Barbelin Society member, Prinn has continued this chain of giving through her support of SJU’s Ignatian College Connection (ICC), a program in collaboration with Philadelphia-area high schools that helps prepare underrepresented students for college and provides them with scholarship funding. To date, seven LUCY grads have participated in the ICC program, with two graduating from Hawk Hill in 2013 and 2017.

“It’s very important to me to help others with limited financial means have access to a Saint Joseph’s education,” says Prinn. “These students are truly incredible individuals with so much potential to give back and have an impact on a campus community like SJU.

“They are equally deserving of the opportunity for the individualized, Jesuit educational experience that helped transform my own life.”

 

To learn more about Kristin’s work, visit lucyoutreach.org