Employee Spotlight: Kerra Apolo

by Vicki Heisser  |   

Sitting down with Kerra Apolo, her positive, joyful, and calm demeanor become immediately apparent. No doubt these attributes serve her well in her various jobs at Prince William Sound College and in her own personal pursuits.

Kerra has a long history with PWSC. She first started as a student, and after graduating in 2010, she has held several job positions. Presently she works in the business office as a fiscal technician. Kerra shares, “I am involved with recording financial transactions, updating statements, checking financial records for accuracy, accounts payable, travel, and student accounts.”

In addition to working for PWSC since 2011, Apolo has been an advocate at Advocates for Victims of Violence (AVV), an organization that provides quality services - emergency shelter, crisis intervention, and much more to victims and families effected by domestic violence and sexual assault. When asked what motivates her to be involved with this kind of work, Kerra explains, “Well, years ago I took a Peer-to-peer advocacy college class [at PWSC] taught by Chris Washko. After that class, I realized it was something that I wanted to pursue as a side job, in case I did not make it in graphic design, but also because of my background before becoming an advocate. I have a history with domestic violence.”

Being an advocate can be emotionally difficult at times, and Apolo values those she works with at AVV. “I enjoy my coworkers immensely. They are the biggest support that I can have as an advocate and that our participants can have, too. We have a very solid team and can count on each other.  And, when we [AVV and our participants] have successes, it is wonderful to see them get back on their feet, living the life that they want to live.”

When she’s not working at PWSC or with AVV, Apolo is working toward that bachelor’s degree in graphic design she’s wanted since graduating with her associate’s degree from PWSC. And if that’s not enough to keep her busy, she also has hobbies she pursues, many of which relate to her interest in the graphic arts.

Kerra shares, “Well, I like anything to do with arts and crafts. I enjoy using my hands and mind to create things.” Kerra uses her creative talents whenever she gets the chance and they definitely shine through when working on events like Women of Distinction for AVV or Halloween decorating for the college.

Her interest in the arts also includes dramatic arts. When reminded about her participation in theater, Kerra laughs and admits,” Oh yeah, I forgot about that. I guess I don’t think of it as a hobby. It's something I don't know,” she pauses. “it’s a passion.”

But that passion wasn’t always there. Kerra notes, “In the beginning, it wasn't (a passion). I was uncertain about it because I am shy.  I was introduced to theater through my Acting 1 class. Taking it for what I thought would be an easy A. Then I realized that I actually had to talk and do things, like act and use my imagination. I then started volunteering for the Valdez Last Frontier Theatre Conference as an usher. After I graduated, I continued to hang out with the theatre crowd and developed friendships with several people like Dawson Moore (director of the conference). Actually, it was Dawson and Gianna McCune, my acting instructor, who got me interested in acting. And now, I can't quit. It's like an addiction.”

While Kerra enjoys the stage, she’s more at home behind the scenes where she can work on the technical elements and scenery and can, as she points out, “actually be the artist that I like to be.”

Being an artist for Kerra also means putting the pen to the page. She loves writing, and along with other PWSC staff and faculty members, she is a part of a writing group called Feral Writers Guild. Together they wrote a play called “If,” which is being produced by TBA (Training Better Artists) Theater in Anchorage.  As Kerra talks about the play, her enthusiasm comes through. “We’re excited for sure!”

It is clear that no matter if it’s in the office, on the stage, or on the page, Kerra Apolo is a spirited, integral part of the PWSC and Valdez community.