Malai Amfahr of Des Moines has been hired as the Story County Reads coordinator for United Way of Story County (UWSC). Amfahr began at UWSC on Aug. 14.


As Story County Reads coordinator, Amfahr will manage the development, implementation and evaluation of a collective impact agenda in the focus area of education. She will create and work with a network of partners to ensure the framework is in place to ensure all Story County children read and comprehend at or above grade level through the community, families, and schools working together for a collective impact.


Amfahr has over 15 years of experience working in the nonprofit sector serving families and youth with lower resources. She has spent the last 10 years of her career with a statewide community development organization as a director, where she developed and operated two departments focused on resident engagement. She launched programs in both Ames and Des Moines that serve youth ranging in age from 5-18 in after-school enrichment programs, outreach, service learning and civic engagement. Amfahr also serves as a board member for a nonprofit organization in Des Moines that serves youth. She was an original member of the Ames Reads committee when the collaboration began in 2012.


“We’re excited to have Malai join United Way of Story County,” said Jean Kresse, president and CEO of UWSC. “Her experience will be a great benefit to this position and our community as she works to further advance the improvements we’ve seen in a child’s success through grade level reading.”