Introducing Kiyomi Knox

Kiyomi Knox came to Center of Life in October 2018 for her first field placement, as part of a master’s degree in social work from the University of Pittsburgh. The organization’s philosophy that “everything is about people” resonated with her. It was reflective of an idea that Kiyomi had carried with her for a long time—“I feel that there is nothing more genuinely artistic than to love people.” In all fairness, the credit for these words belongs to Vincent Van Gogh. But the sentiment is truly embodied in Kiyomi’s work.

As of this August, Kiyomi Knox is the Outreach Coordinator at Center of Life. This position allows her to “branch us out to the community and make sure that we are really fulfilling the community’s needs.” Some of her current goals are to find a bridge between generations, collaborate with other organizations in Hazelwood to make sure we are all working towards a common goal for the community, and to make COL a dynamic centralized hub for all beneficial information for the Hazelwood community.

Kiyomi’s primary focus is to meet as many people as possible from the community to build a good rapport and a trusting relationship. She is sensitive to the fact that individuals often enter a community with assumptions about their needs and magic solutions to their problems. “But,” Kiyomi emphasizes, “you really have no idea until you sit down with people and listen to them and understand their history, where they are coming from. You need to listen, meet people where they are and grow together from there. I don’t want to do things necessarily for people. I want to walk alongside them and help them feel empowered enough to do things for themselves.”

If anyone would like to reach out to Kiyomi about personal or community needs, you are most welcome to email her at

- Arista Engineer

Center of Life