Determination, resiliency, and a greater life purpose are at the core of what drives Dr. Kasi McCormick, Vice President of Grants for United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County. A defender for families, she pushes for positive change through her dedication to early childhood development and child abuse prevention efforts in her role at United Way. After a severe diagnosis with Ovarian Cancer at only 30 years old that she just battled into remission, McCormick has become an inspirational voice for women’s health, championing for self-care and empowering others through her own example. She shares on career, her passion for serving others, and her newfound vocation for healthcare advocacy that has become a guiding light for so many.
On her focused career path:
My career journey is unique in that I have always known what I wanted to do. I have been with the same organization for almost 10 years, which is often unheard of for a millennial. High school was when I first knew I wanted to give back to our community and focus on helping children. I didn’t fully know what that career path would entail or how I would reach my goal, but I completed my undergraduate degree in Sociology with a minor in Nonprofit Management and as I was working on my Master’s degree, I was given the transformative opportunity to intern at United Way.
Since then, my career has been nothing short of an incredible blessing. What began as an internship working in child abuse prevention turned into a permanent position a few weeks later, and now I am the Vice President of Grants. I continue to oversee early childhood and child abuse prevention efforts, and my work at United Way continues to challenge me on a daily basis, providing me with a deep sense of purpose.
On her impact within United Way:
The nonprofit industry thrives on innovation and caring for others. It is filled with unconditionally passionate individuals, and I am fortunate to have the opportunity to work with many of them as leaders, influencers, and change-makers in our community. Throughout my career at United Way, I have been able to absorb various facets of the industry and integrate them into my work, while often doing less with more (usually in terms of funding). I constantly have to pursue new avenues for financial support and practice resourcefulness in our efforts to help more families than we anticipate, because community needs always outweigh funding. I am continuously striving for more when it comes to advocating for our partner agencies and the families that we serve, and I have been fulfilled to see those efforts lead to many positive changes in our community.
On her personal healthcare journey, and giving back:
I consider myself very fortunate to have made a career out of my passion for serving others. An unforeseen area of impact that I am working to make in our community is through advocating for women’s health. On December 26, 2017 I was diagnosed with what we would later learn was Stage III Ovarian Cancer, at the age of 30. I don’t have family history of Ovarian Cancer, I am negative for all genetic markers that can lead to this illness, and I only had major symptoms for about five days before my diagnosis. We often put our families and our careers ahead of our health and don’t stop to check in with ourselves if something feels off. Through sharing my testimonial with friends, family, the Baptist Health System, and now through this amazing platform, I hope to inspire women (and men) to recognize when they need to advocate for their health.
On her personal female hero:
My hero is my mom. A positive influence for me and also for many others, she has led by example and shown me how to live a life focused on empathy, gratitude, and the practice of kindness. She is constantly in the back of my mind when I am making a major decision, and so much of who I am and what I have accomplished is a credit to both she and my dad. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that I am also incredibly fortunate to have so many other Superwomen and men (my husband, dad, brother and sister-in-law) in my life. Going through a tough cancer battle and draining chemo treatments has given me the gift of perspective and reminded me how lucky I am. I can’t thank my husband, my family, my United Way family and my friends enough for the impact that they have collectively made on my life.
This profile was (Em)Powered by United Way of San Antonio & Bexar County and the Cox-McCormick family.
Edited from an interview by Eleanora Morrison.