Kira Pierson named student speaker for CLAAS recognition ceremony
Kira Pierson will be this year’s student speaker for the College of Liberal Arts and Science recognition ceremony on May 15.
Finding a sense of belonging while reaching out to connect with and serve others marked Kira Pierson's path to her bachelor's degree. Now a licensed emergency medical technician who created a statewide organization making a significant impact, Pierson will be this year's student speaker for the College of Liberal Arts and Science recognition ceremony on May 15.
Growing up in foster care, Pierson attended 14 schools before graduating from high school. Beginning at Miami's Hamilton campus in 2017, she soon found Student Government and Model United Nations student organizations gave her a sense of belonging.
On her way to receiving her associate degree in 2019, Pierson joined the Hamilton Cheer Team and completed a one-year internship with the Butler County Coroner's Office, along with a 12-week internship at the Butler County Juvenile Court.
As she pursued a bachelor's degree, Pierson was introduced to cold cases in a class taught by Steve Bailey of the Justice and Community Studies Department. That experience working with missing persons cases led her to create the statewide organization, Ohio Valley Missing in 2020. The organization's work has aided in the location of more than 30 individuals from the Tri-State area. It also led to policy changes within several Butler County law enforcement agencies.
Along the way, she studied at Butler Tech and became a licensed emergency medical technician (EMT). She has had a full-time position in Cincinnati since 2019 while completing her bachelor's degree.
"My time at Miami has shaped me into who I am today," Pierson said. "I'm a proud EMT, Miami student, and soon I will be proud to be a part of the only 2-4% of foster youth who obtain a bachelor's degree."