After graduating from the University of Missouri with degrees in History and Psychology and a master’s in Political Science, Danielle Nygaard spent eight years teaching government and history at private schools in the St. Louis area. Upon deciding to leave teaching, she entered a year of service as an AmeriCorps VISTA at Mission: St. Louis in their Beyond Jobs program. In this position, she was part of a team that organized and led four cohorts of the organization’s Job and Leadership Training program, the mission of which is to empower men from under-resourced communities to become leaders in their families, jobs and communities. Her experience as a VISTA was so enriching, she decided to sign up for a second year of service, this time as a VISTA Leader. If you think of the VISTA year as summer camp, she is the camp counselor for the fifty VISTAs serving at about two dozen nonprofits in the St. Louis area.
In her free time, Danielle is active as a coach with the local Girls on the Run chapter, an organization that believes every girl can embrace who she is, define who she wants to be, rise to any challenge, and change the world. She is also a member of West County Community Action Network (WE CAN), an organization that is working to address systemic racism in local institutions. Danielle enjoys running 5ks for good causes, hiking state and national parks, bringing a good sci-fi or fantasy book, and finding new things to do in the city.