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Karen Pence has been a school teacher for more than 25 years. As First Lady, Karen continues her passion for educating children by traveling the state visiting schools. She thoroughly enjoys shining the spotlight on our amazing schools in Indiana. Mrs. Pence is an artist and small business owner. Her specialty is watercolors of homes and historical buildings. Mrs. Pence is honorary chair of the Art Therapy Initiative at Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis and is a board member of Tracy's Kids, an art therapy program for several children's hospitals in Washington, D.C. She is excited to be filling her office with art work created by students from all over the state.
In addition to traveling the state, Mrs. Pence is honored to have been named the official Bicentennial Ambassador by the Indiana Bicentennial Commission. In this position, she will play a key role in celebrating Indiana’s 200th birthday in 2016.
In August of 2013, the First Lady started the Indiana First Lady’s Charitable Foundation. The Foundation is a 501 (c)3 whose purpose is to encourage and support youth and families of Indiana. The beneficiaries include individuals, schools, communities, families, family support organizations, along with arts organizations. The Foundation was created to foster an even better understanding and love for the state of Indiana, while encouraging and supporting Hoosiers who want to be better citizens. The Foundation’s board plans to spotlight these types of individuals and organizations through scholarships, awards, and grants.
Mrs. Pence earned a B.S. and M.S. in Elementary Education from Butler University. She and Governor Mike Pence have been married since 1985 and have three college-aged children: Michael, Charlotte, and Audrey.