Committed to serving the social good and enriching the lives of others
"Kat makes things happen through collaboration, relationship building, and an intuitive leadership style. She is at once a go-getter and an active listener. Working with Kat is such a pleasure, as she brings terrific ideas to the table and a balance of excellent project management with keen visionary abilities. She has made a huge impact on many lives — from the youth that she has worked with to the communities her programs impact."
— Annie Van Avery, Executive Director at COLAGE
Programs I’ve led or created over the last ten years
Founder & Lead Facilitator: Better than Small Talk, 2015-Present
Better than Small Talk is a community gathering for people who want to move past repetitive small talk and explore more meaningful conversations. I created and offered to the world as a way to foster community, reduce isolation, and inspire more open, authentic connections between people.
Founder & Lead Facilitator: Bay Area Black Designers, 2015-Present
Reach: 370 members and growing
Bay Area Black Designers is a dynamic and supportive professional development community for Black people who are digital designers in the San Francisco Bay Area. I started it in the summer of 2015 because for 10+ years, I could count on one hand the number of other black designers I’d ever met. I craved community and believed that other black designers did too. We are design professionals working in all areas of digital design, at every level from beginners to experts. We started as a group of five in my living room and today we have over hundreds of members. Being designers from an underrepresented ethnic group in tech means that most of us can relate to the isolation of feeling like “the only one.” In community we share inspiration, connection, peer mentorship, professional development, resources, feedback, support, resilience, and project collaboration.
Volunteer Coordinator & Workshop Facilitator: Kalani Honua, 2013-2014
Reach: 200 adult volunteers and staff
Kalani is an educational nonprofit organization that celebrates Hawaii, nature, culture and wellness. As a Volunteer Coordinator, I helped oversee the entire Service Experience for 125-200 residential adult volunteers. My role involved wrangling volunteers from all over the world to come to the Big Island and volunteer 30 hours a week to keep the retreat center running. I helped ensure that volunteers’ experience — from arrival at Kalani to their departure 1-12 months later — was as positive and supported as possible. Since Kalani is both a retreat center and a residential intentional community for the volunteers, in my role I also was part of the team responsible for maintaining the community's peace and harmony by taking care of logistical organization, communication, education and connection. Update: Due to the Kilauea volcano’s lava eruption in early 2018, Kalani has been permanently closed.
Program Director: Youth in Focus, 2009-2012
Reach: 600 teens, 200 adult volunteers and teaching artists
YIF is an afterschool photography & mentoring program for underserved and marginalized teens in Seattle. I oversaw every programmatic aspect of the experience for the students, volunteers and teaching artists, from pre-quarter preparation to final evaluation. This meant making sure that every need was being provided for with exceptional quality, constant improvement and lots of fun. The gamut: film, analog and digital cameras, darkrooms, supplies, emotional safety, youth empowerment, teacher coaching, mentor support, community partnerships, personal development and relationship management with our fans through all of our social media sites.
Program Manager: The Power of Hope, 2007-2009
Reach: 1200 teens, 400 adults
POH unleashes the positive potential of youth through arts-centered, intergenerational and multicultural learning programs that value self-awareness, leadership, community, and social change. As a Program Manager and Lead Facilitator, I was a part of a close-knit team that brought The Power of Hope's mission to life for the youth who came to programs, and for the many adults who supported the programs and were participants in POH programming to deepen their own personal and professional development.
Co-Lead Facilitator: The Monologue Project, 2007-2009
Reach: 152 teens, 75 college students, 5 teachers/professors
The Monologue Project is an autobiographical monologue-writing and performance project. It connects middle-schoolers with college students to foster greater self-expression, development of personal voice, community connections, and enthusiasm for going to college.
I was a co-lead for the design and implementation of the project's curriculum across three WA school districts, funded by a grant from the University of Washington GEAR UP. Take a look inside The Monologue Project.