Changemakers: Kristina Schnack Kotlus, a “NOVA Lifer”

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Meet Kristina Schnack Kotlus, a self-proclaimed “NOVA Lifer.” Kotlus is the owner of PWC Moms,  which she says “helps parents and families feel connected in the local community.” A homeschooling mother of three, Kotlus has worked in community outreach for local former delegate Rich Anderson, as well as having been published in several local newspapers and magazines. Her book, I Quit: Facing Cancer with Faith, Family, & Friends, will be in stores this February.

How long have you lived in the Prince William area, and what do you most like about living here?
I’m actually one of the few, the proud, the NOVA life-ers! I was born at what was then Manassas Hospital, went to King, Saunders, and Hylton, went to Holy Cross College for two years before transferring to George Mason and making a home in Lake Ridge. My family and I now live in Manassas. I love the combination of having city and country aspects of life so close, I love the history, I love the proximity to DC, and I love the pace of life. I know it’s exhausting to many, but it’s all I’ve ever known!

What are some of your favorite things to do in the area and why?
We adore Old Town Manassas. First Friday, the Orthodox Church’s Greek Festival, live music—it’s awesome! We also love the outdoors—paddle boats in Lake Ridge Park, PW Forest Park is beautiful and close with nice campsites, and when my kids were smaller, we loved Fantasy Playground!

Tell us about your community involvement. For example, if you volunteer, describe what you do and why.
I’ve done a bunch around here; it’s important to give back! I run Silver Sparkles, a fundraiser for brain cancer research, I promote local non-profits on my blog regularly, I volunteer with many of the things my children do—Boy Scouts, American Heritage Girls, homeschool class teacher, etc. I’m also on the Freedom Center Board, and I love that they are a benefit to PWC, Manassas, and George Mason University. I teach
Sunday School at Chapel Springs Church and work in the welcome center. I love working with people. We also try to take advantage of family volunteer opportunities, such as the Food Fight packing event with North Star Church Network, which we’ve done for years!

If you had to give advice to someone new to the area, what would you tell them and why? 

Because of the fast-pace and constantly rotating population, you’ll have to actually put in a little effort to find your tribe here, but it really is an amazing hometown!

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