Finance & Development Manager at TWLOHA
Tell us about yourself.
What a great question. I think a couple of years ago I would have said something completely different than what I would have said about myself right now.
I have a lot of pride for where I have come from. Both where I was raised and in my story. At a young age, I lost my father. He passed away from Leukemia. I was only thirteen. It wasn’t until later where I had the opportunity to start unpacking how those events have impacted me. With time, my people, and counseling I’ve been able to bridge the gap that was created between this warrior that had to be and the vulnerable little girl in me. Digging deep into these areas of my life has been one of my favorite things of my 20s.
What do you do?
During the day I am the “Finance & Development Manager” here at To Write Love on Her Arms. I also have a side hustle called Handwritten Calligraphy.
What led you to your current role with TWLOHA?
One unexpected email and a couple weeks later my husband and I were moving to Florida. My husband used to be an intern for TWLOHA. After his internship, I had the opportunity to work at a couple of events with him sharing this message of hope and help.
When we both ended up getting hired we left our hometown and families to create some roots in a small beach town in Florida.
Why do you do what you do and what do you love most about what you do?
I believe in the work TWLOHA is doing. I love that I have the opportunity to use my gifts and support an amazing organization that is providing hope, and help for people struggling. I am also super nerdy and get into spreadsheets and processes. I love all things google docs. But some of the most special moments are when I get to work TWLOHA events. It’s how I was introduced to TWLOHA when I barely knew anything about the organization. And I always walk away from the event just so grateful that I get to work for this organization that is striving to create awareness and space for this conversation about mental health to happen. And I always walk away from the booth inspired.
Who are some women that inspire you in your life and work?
I think all the ladies I get to work with are fierce. I also really enjoy and want to celebrate all of my close friends. It’s meant a lot to me to be able to know and trust the people in my corner.
What are you passionate about?
I love my nieces. They’re some of my favorite people on this planet. I will also introduce anyone and everyone to the Manitowoc Minute even if you don’t like Wisconsin. I often get super passionate about goals. They don’t even have to be my goals. I just really enjoy even just talking about setting goals.
What's the best advice you've received?
“Be good and great, every day, in every way, because every day matters”. - Todd Simonsen (aka my dad).
Why do you think talking about mental health is so important?
It literally impacts everyone at some point. We all know someone or are ourselves struggling. It’s not limited to a specific personality type and I believe if there was more space for the conversation to happen authentically and honestly our world would look a lot different.
Are there any specific challenges in your work/life you've faced because you're a woman? If so how did you overcome them?
I have never fit the stereotypical idea of what a woman should be even as a little girl. That’s definitely presented its challenges but I’ve come to love that about myself. I think there have been very specific messages communicated to women about what it looks like to be a woman in our American society. I find myself super frustrated sometimes that I feel that there’s this one type of box we’re supposed to fit in as females. But I actually have a lot of fun trying to defy those standards.
What is your advice for women and girls?
You can have both. The warrior and the little girl.
Kathryn is the Finance and Development Manager for TWLOHA, a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide.