Introducing our 2013 Christkindl — Ms. Dana Kiel
The 2013 Denver Christkindl is Ms. Dana Kiel, a native of Golden, Colorado. She was chosen by the German American Chamber of Commerce – Colorado Chapter because of her affinity for all things German, her German language capability, engaging personality, community involvement and demonstrated self-confidence.
Up to 2011 Ms. Kiel had spent most of her life in Colorado until she was selected to spend her entire senior year of high school in Germany with the Congress Bundestag Youth Exchange Program (CBYX). The program, which is dually sponsored by the United States Congress and the German Bundestag, funds exchange programs for German and American students through grants to private exchange organizations in both countries.
Although Ms. Kiel has German ancestors who emigrated from Hamburg in 1856, she had never studied German before applying to the program. The CBYX program jump starts participants’ German language abilities with a one-month language camp which Ms. Kiel attended in Hedersleben, Saxony-Anhalt. Subsequently she spent four months with a host family in Hannover and then six months with a second family in Singen, Baden-Württemberg. As a result, she returned fluent in German and with a new-found love for her family’s lost heritage.
Ms. Kiel is currently a sophomore at the University of Denver where she majors in International Studies with minors in Economics and Leadership Studies. Outside of class she is a writer and the editor of DU’s “Pioneer Business Review” and a member of the DU British Parliamentary Debate Team.
Ms. Kiel also enjoys working with kids and during the last two summers was a counselor with Young Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA), a leadership program coordinated by Rotary Clubs around the globe.
Latest accomplishment? Along with three friends, she recently climbed one of Colorado’s “Fourteeners,” Gray’s Peak (14,270 feet).
She is excited to be involved with the German community in Colorado and the 13th annual Denver Christkindl Market reflecting the rich Christmas traditions she fell in love with during her time in Hannover, Germany.