Hometown Heroes: Carmen Wampler Collins & PCSO Staff

Story by Rocko Jerome | Photo courtesy of PCSO


Carmen Wampler Collins & Staff
Pride Community Services Organization (PCSO)

Carmen has been the Executive Director at PCSO since October 2019. The staff serves the greater Lexington community and collaborates with colleagues across Central and Eastern Kentucky to support and improve the lives of sexual minority and gender-expansive people. The Pride Center houses an extensive lending library of more than 1,000 volumes, hosts special interest gatherings and support groups that include art and theater, meals, socials, game nights, movies, and much more.  

The PCSO is Lexington's Pride Festival incubator and the home base for both LinQ Magazine, a free monthly print and online periodical, and the Pink Pages, a free resource publication. As the COVID-19 pandemic began to develop, the PCSO pivoted to continue to offer support and discussion groups and minimize social isolation by utilizing and expanding virtual gatherings. While observing physical distancing protocols, the PCSO continues to offer free food boxes on Wednesdays to address food insecurity. They also network and problem-solve by phone and through virtual collaborative meetings with community members and colleagues to meet new and growing needs in the community.  

Carmen is married with a family, has extensive grant-writing, fundraising, and consulting experience, and is the former Programs and Development Director at Frontier KY. 

Nominated by Vicki Stanley
Photo: Carmen Wampler Collins takes a selfie with the PCSO outreach booth