An Interview with Narrative 4 Community Partner, Kat Holstlaw

This month, to celebrate International Women’s History Month, we’ve asked our staff to nominate some of the amazing women working within the Narrative 4 community, to uplift their work and express our sincere appreciation for their commitment to N4’s core beliefs. These women truly embody compassionate change-making in the world and are doing the work to build support and connection in their communities.

This post is an interview with Kat Holstlaw, N4 Community Partner and one of our nominees! Kat Holstlaw is an after school program coordinator in a small, rural community where many kids have difficult home situations. Kat is dedicated to providing her students with social-emotional learning opportunities, in order to support their growth as individuals and as students. Some ways in which Kat has implemented SEL into her programming include: creating a calming room for children to take space and process their emotions, running meditation & yoga classes, and introducing an adopt-a-grandparent project. Kat’s commitment to advocating for students’ wellbeing and to building strong community ties between students, their peers, and the world around them are why we are spotlighting her this Women’s History Month! 

In conversation with Kat

What’s the most important thing we should know about you?

I am a passionate advocate for out-of-school time programs and youth in general. I work full-time as a Program Coordinator for a Teen REACH Grant, part-time as a Youth Care Worker, and as a CASA volunteer. As a mother of three youth, I know the importance of having a positive adult mentor to help you guide yourself to adulthood. I am thankful to have that support for my own children and to help fill that support for youth in our communities.

What excites you about the work of Narrative 4? What drew you to this work? Why does it matter?

Narrative 4 has allowed me to connect with youth in our communities even during the hardest times of their life. It has allowed us to build a sense of community within our after-school program and has established connections between peers and staff that wouldn’t have been possible without the guidance from Narrative 4. Every youth should feel supported during their journey.

Can you share a brief story about your work with N4?

I remember early on in my journey with Narrative 4 and trying to connect my co-workers to the process. It wasn’t as smooth as I had envisioned. During a meeting with Christina, we began discussing using prompts at staff meetings and running the process with staff. Once I was able to connect staff with the process it was much smoother.

Read our interviews with other nominees and participate in our International Women’s History month campaign here!