Kari’s grandmother instilled in her an admiration for women who are independent thinkers, compassionate, and advocate for the rights of others. Kari, who is Jubilee’s Executive Director, has worked with over 200 employees over the course of her career. Throughout that time only a few people have left a lasting impression, Molly Harney, Jubilee’s Program Administrator, counts as one of the few. Molly’s innate desire to make a meaningful difference in the world, her soft spoken, yet deep-rooted convictions to champion marginalized populations, animals, and friends are truly impressive and for Kari these qualities mirror those of her grandmother.
Molly was fortunate to grow up surrounded by strong and loving women. Her mother, aunt, and grandmother imparted in her the importance of being true to yourself. Molly’s mother and aunt taught her to think outside the box and speak up for herself. Her aunt Maryann, in response to our question on who inspired her, felt it was impossible to narrow it down to just a few women. What stuck out to her the most were the characters she read in the books of Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary as a young girl. These authors wrote about young girls in a way that was considered controversial and radical at the time, but they taught her things she would not have been taught at school or at home in the late 1960’s. To her, these books were a big part in finding her voice and becoming independent in a time when young women were not supposed to be.
Molly was a classic tom-boy who loved basketball, skateboarding, and video games all things she still loves to do today. Her support system of powerful women encouraged her to be whoever she wanted to be. They empowered her individually and as a whole, which is one of the reasons she studied Women and Gender Studies in college. Molly wants to make a difference and continue to find strength through women in her community. Working with women experiencing homelessness gives her the opportunity to empower and be empowered by a diverse community of women who all have different stories to tell and journeys to follow.