Know Thyself Quote

Stephanie Klurfeld, Founder and Creative Director, is a retired business woman who worked in the designing and accessories industry. She had a showroom, including her own design line, in the Apparel Center in downtown Chicago. During her working career, she also ran a self-esteem program for working women in Chicago. Her program was all-inclusive and multi-faceted to allow women to be successful in the working world.

Upon retiring, she was asked by a local educator to start another esteem-building program, but this one for at-risk girls in Milwaukee public schools. The first school where she implemented her program was the Jackie Robinson Middle School in 1996.

She chose to call the program Know Thyself™ because she believes, as Louise Nevelson said renowned sculpture artist from the early 20th century - "You belong to yourself. You can only be a total human being to others when you know who you are." To Stephanie, you must first love yourself before you can take care of and improve yourself. Working with at-risk youth that means first building their self-esteem so that they believe in themselves. Following upon that, they can start setting goals. And then, finally, they can work on the exterior polish of manners, hand-shaking, eye contact, etiquette and their overall presentation power.

Through the years, as it's been positively received wherever it's been implemented, she has overseen the growth of Know Thyself™ to include boys, as well as girls, and to expand to other middle schools as well as high schools.

In the very beginning, besides being motivated by an intense feeling of obligation to give back to the community, she wanted to be able to bond with kids who had not had the same upbringing as her own. She wanted to be able to say that she and these students could understand one another. The countless cards and gifts and pieces of art she's received from the students over the past 20 years attest to her success. (They fill boxes!) One young middle schooler by the name of Breanna put it very simply: "Thank you for making know thyself. I am really happy you made it."

Catina Harwell-Young, Executive Director, brings 20 years of non-profit management experience to her role as Executive Director. A Milwaukee native, she is a staunch advocate for quality education, youth empowerment and civic engagement.

Catina received for undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Marquette University and earned her M.B.A. from Cardinal Stritch. During her career, she has worked on local, state and national projects. Relevant experiences include building youth advisory boards and mentoring programs, developing summer learning opportunities, and leading marketing efforts to promote these initiatives.

Whether planning a national event, researching and disseminating information to stakeholders or managing a project team, Catina believes that utilizing and developing the talents of those around her is vital to sustainable, positive change.

Board of Directors
Officers Sally Lyne, President
Emily Phillips, Vice President
Maura Fitzgerald, Secretary
Directors Jo Ann Kraninger
Fran Franklin