Today we’d like to introduce you to Kay Litwin.
So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I started with a passion to help others. Seeking a career giving and not taking. Through trials and tribulations, I finally found my dream job where I have an opportunity to give to those less fortunate.
I started my journey in a very small town in West Virginia where I was born and raised. I had written in my dream journal when I was eight years old that I wanted to go to UCLA, so as soon as I graduated from High School, I packed up my things and made my journey west in my little 2001 VW beetle.
It wasn’t always smooth sailing however. Along the way putting myself through school and working full time, scenarios occurred that landed me without a place to stay. Now I was brand new to LA, going to Santa Monica College full time and officially homeless. Working out of coffee shops, showering in gyms, and sleeping in my car, I still managed to make the Dean’s list that year and procure a full-ride scholarship for my transfer into UCLA.
During this time, I created my own honors society on campus to get fellow students more involved in environmentalism, my major, doing beach clean-ups and going “Dirty-for-the-drought.” Following graduation, I was able to check the second box in my childhood dream journal; working in Africa.
Up to this point, I had never even left the country. Nothing was going to stop me though. I landed an internship with the Wildlife Act in Africa, packed my things and headed on this solo two months journey. I working in South Africa, traveled to Ethiopia, Morocco, and then made my way over to Qatar and Spain. These travels inspired something in me that I didn’t know was there; a passion for writing. I spent my time with poems and anecdotes flooding my brain and trying to get them all out. When I returned back to the states, I actually received such great feedback from friends I decided to illustrate and publish the book; “Turkey Tacos, The Unadulterated Truth.”
Now I am home and I need to find a job. I can’t say it was easy, but with a little time and a lot of persistence, work, and reformatting my resume 1,002 times, I finally landed my dream job. That more or less brings us up to today.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Experiencing homelessness as a young girl, fresh to Los Angeles. I was lucky that the experience didn’t last that long, but it certainly was a challenge, especially considering I was working and going to school full-time.
I have also found myself in some dangerous relationships that threatened to take my life. To remove myself from that situation safely, was most considerably a challenge, and there were literal obstacle in my way.
I also have been diagnosed with general anxiety disorder and PTSD. Trying to remain focused, to the point of graduating cum laude from UCLA, was no small task. It is still very much a part of my life and something I now try to tackle with meditation and yoga rather than medication.
Furthermore, about 6-7 years ago, I was diagnosed with a chronic bladder disorder; Interstitial cystitis. The doctor told me I would have this for the rest of my life; side effects including extreme pain and loss of control of your bladder. I was just a young girl of 21 and I felt my social life was over. But working with an IC coach, and delving into the world of treating your body with homeopathic methods has really changed everything.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I like to imagine myself as a valuable team member to our philanthropic efforts.
I think was sets us apart from others is our passion for health and wellness. And I don’t mean just in the world, our company has a passion for all its employees and is there to help them lead their very best possible life.
From offering yoga, mindfulness, tobacco cessation programs, and only serving healthy food; in every possible way this company wants the employee to be its best self.
What I do own as a private venture however, is my writing. Now this really all started on a whim, and I could have not done it without my inspirational solo international adventures. This is what brought the words and pictures to life on the pages. The response has actually been so positive to this publishing that it has really opened up a new possibility for me as a freelance writer. I have already started drafting a series of books I want to write merging my passions for action and romance… we will see.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I grew up in a small town in West Virginia of 283 people. Everyone knew everyone, there was no such thing as a secret, and most people did not wear shoes.
I hold so dearly to those summers of my childhood. Spending all day in the warm sun running around with my toes in the grass, swimming in our pool all day, until dinner was ready. Which consisted of something fresh my dad has grilled up from the local butcher, and all the fresh vegetables that we grew in our large garden. My favorites were always the tomatoes, which you could catch my mother singing to, to help them grow in the morning.
By the afternoon, we were all pooped we would make a small outdoor fire, roast marshmallows, and listen to cicadas in the night with lightening bugs dancing around you like stars.
I will never forget those amazing childhood summers.