Lynn Debilzen

Birth to 8 Initiatives Manager


What is your background?

I was an engineering-turned-social work major who knew I would probably not end up in "traditional" social work. I've used those social justice values and my beliefs around racial equity and privilege to guide my career. After receiving my MA in Intercultural Youth Development and serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer, I decided an MBA in Social Impact Management would help me to think about the work differently. That was when the hot new idea was "collective impact," and several years later, I'm so honored to be able to facilitate the efforts in Racine around Kindergarten Readiness and Elementary Reading. In my role, I serve both Higher Expectations in Racine County and Building Our Future in Kenosha County.  

What is your favorite thing to do in Racine County?

During the summer, I love laying in my hammock and enjoying a good book. I also love driving and walking along the shores of beautiful Lake Michigan.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

My plan was to be the first woman in the NFL, and my backup professions were being a teacher or a pilot.

What makes you excited to be a part of the Higher Expectations team?

The work of collective impact and supporting partners to use continuous improvement to achieve better results for children and families is completely invigorating. I love the strong network of partnerships and the openness to collaborate that exists in Racine.

What's one thing you love that has nothing to do with work?

International travel, and learning new languages and cultures, feeds my soul.

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