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For years, young adults in the Central Midwest District have known how fortunate they are to have Kimberlee Carlson as the Youth and Young Adult Coordinator for the district. Now she is receiving the national recognition she deserves for all her tireless efforts and dedication to youth and young adult ministry, having been awarded the Donna DiSciullo Young Adult and Campus Ministry Award this past summer.

Kimberlee Carlson receiving award“Kimberlee has made tireless and far-reaching efforts to connect and network with a wide array of young adults and those ministering with them from all across the country,” says Erik Kesting, Youth and Young Adult Ministries Director for the Unitarian Universalist Association. In addition to her work with the Central Midwest District, she has served as a leader at the congregational, and denominational level, along with being a UUA Young Adult and Campus Ministry Regional Organizing Consultant and serving on the Church of the Younger Fellowship (CYF) Steering Committee.

For the past two years, Kimberlee has spearheaded and been instrumental in the coordination of the newly established Midwest Youth Leadership School which runs in conjunction with Midwest Leadership School, a joint venture of three districts: Central Midwest, Heartland and Prairie Star. The youth leadership school allows youth and adults to learn and work together in worship, education and achievement. This unique opportunity, sponsored by the districts, brings together youth and volunteer staff from across the Midwest to create a place for our Unitarian Universalist youth to explore their religion, values and heritage while developing leadership skills.

In addition to her knowledge and networking efforts for Young Adults in our district and denomination at large, Kimberlee has demonstrated leadership in motivating other districts and local congregations to invest in young adult ministry. Her dedication to anti-racism, anti-oppression, and multiculturalism analysis and training has supported the transformation of our faith communities into ones of greater justice and compassion.


Kimberlee currently serves the Central Midwest District as Youth and Young Adult Coordinator. In this role, she works with the District Young Adult Steering Committee (YASC) as well as the District Youth Steering Committee (DYSC), providing staff support for finances, meetings, events, communications, and more. Kimberlee has introduced a network of social media for interaction with district youth and adults in the Central Midwest District, coordinating several Facebook pages and other networking avenues as well as list serves and email sites.

The Donna DiSciullo Young Adult and Campus Ministry Award award was established in 1995 to recognize the importance of ministry to young adults (ages 18-35) and to honor people who have contributed to its advancement. Named in honor of the Rev. Donna DiSciullo, who served as the Unitarian Universalist Association Director of Young Adult and Campus Ministry from 1993 to 2001, this award is given to an individual (or group) who has been committed to and furthered the cause of ministry to young adults. Recipients are chosen after being nominated along with a letter of recommendation from a minister, religious educator, campus coordinator, or other religious professional.