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2020
Auburn Harrison

Auburn Harrison started her career by enlisting in the US Navy at age nineteen. She spent five years traveling the world as a military journalist before following her childhood dream of becoming a television news reporter. Auburn worked for a variety of small-market networks before landing in Reno in 2005 at KOLO Television where she covered the creation and development of the Midtown Reno District, the murder of local college co-ed Brianna Denison, and more seasonal wildfires and epic snowstorms than she cares to remember. She left the business when it no longer felt authentic to her and went back to school to foster her love for the written word.

After attempting to volunteer at a soup kitchen during graduate school in 2011, Auburn found her forever career as a nonprofit fundraiser and executive. Since 2016, Auburn has served the Executive Director of Communities in Schools (CIS) of Western Nevada, where she oversees eight CIS Resource Rooms inside Washoe County’s highest poverty, most dropout-prone schools. Her organization provides basic needs to at-risk students, in addition to integrated student support services including mentoring, tutoring and other interventions to help students stay in school, graduate and achieve life success. CIS serves over 4,500 at-risk local students each year.

Auburn holds a master’s degree in Writing from University of Nevada, Reno and a bachelor’s in Mass Communication & Journalism from City University in Bellevue, Washington. She’s a 2018 graduate of Leadership Reno-Sparks through the Chamber of Commerce and a current student in the Community Foundation of Western Nevada’s first-ever Nonprofit Academy. Auburn serves as Secretary on the Human Services Network board of directors and is a member at-large on the board of directors for the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts. She is also a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Auburn’s favorite and most important job is being a mom. She lives in Reno with her husband, Schuyler, six chickens, one rooster, and three wild little boys, Wilder, Quill, and Canyon. Auburn and her family spend their weekends camping at their favorite lakes and rivers, riding bikes around Reno and creating family traditions. Auburn is an avid reader, a cook, a crafter, and an extrovert with a passion for throwing parties and giving compliments.