We had the good fortune of connecting with Caitlin Crommett and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Caitlin, what are you inspired by?
I’m inspired by human kindness. By the impact of true and authentic connection. By young leaders. Through my nonprofit DreamCatchers, we work with students in high school and college that choose to give their time to make someone’s day, instead of hanging out with their friends or doing something for themselves. I’m constantly inspired by their hearts, but their drive to make a difference and impact another person’s life. Despite all of our differences and negativity toward other people, this is what always brings me back to the core belief that the vast majority of humans are innately good and kind.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
When I was in high school, I started a nonprofit called DreamCatchers. I noticed that not many other people my age were volunteering at hospices and nursing homes, with typically-elderly people who were nearing the end of their lives. I had always been interested in spending time with people of the older generations, like my grandparents’ age, and knew that wasn’t common for someone my age. I felt a sense of peace, calm, and a surety that most young people don’t get until we’ve gone through much of our lives. Fast forward 10 years, and that nonprofit I started at age 15 has grown to 15 states nationwide, powered by student chapters that work to fulfill the end-of-life Dreams of hospice patients in their communities. It’s been full of setbacks, rejection, hard work, and doing a lot of things I didn’t want to do at the time – but I persisted on because I know the level of impact the organization makes on both young and old. I would return to my original inspiration – the movie “Patch Adams” with Robin Williams – when things felt too tough to overcome, and it kept me going. Further, my support system, my team, and mentors have all kept me going. Throughout the journey, I’ve truly learned the power of surrounding yourself with people smarter than you, and that will push you to be better. Without them, DreamCatchers may not be making the impact nationwide that it is today. When I hear stories of young people being influenced by these typically-elderly hospice patients, that they would likely have never met otherwise, it gives me so much hope for future generations. If we as a culture, a society, can get better at connecting across generations -rather than segregating ourselves based on age – I believe our world will continue to improve exponentially. Communities will be closer, people will feel more connected, and we’ll give everyone the respect and attention they deserve. At DreamCatchers, we work every day to eliminate ageism, stigmas around death and dying, and connect generations. Our vision reflects a worldview that is possible if we can continue our impact and reach more students and communities nationwide – and one day, worldwide.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I grew up in Orange County, but didn’t spend much time in LA until I moved here after graduating from Notre Dame in 2015. Since then, I’ve found little pockets of my favorites, and would definitely take a friend new to the area to these (self-proclaimed) best spots in town! 🙂

During a week long trip, I’d focus heavily on the tastes of LA, and the beach of course. I’d take them to Toes Beach in Playa del Rey after their flight in, and grab a coffee and snack at the local Playa Provisions and relax on the sand later. We’d spend some time in the Marina, and maybe even take out a pontoon boat with friends to get the full tour of the Marina – and bring our own drinks and snacks on board of course! I’d love to rent bikes and take the beach path as far as we can, maybe grabbing lunch in Manhattan Beach before heading back down the path. We’d definitely check out Jon & Vinny’s – the BEST Italian food in town – where we sat in the booth opposite Beyonce and Jay Z last time we were there, Hotel Erwin for a sunset happy hour, and maybe the Warehouse back in Marina for a tourist-classic with awesome Mai Tais & food on the water.
But, I can’t forget about my favorite new town, and recent home town, San Pedro! We’d walk around the downtown and maybe grab a beer at the Whale and Ale Irish pub. Maybe we’d tour the Battleship Iowa, then take a whale watching boat out of the San Pedro Fish Market. I’m also a big fan of the hiking trails near Terrenea Resort in Palos Verdes, then finishing back at the resort for a pretzel and spritz with the most beautiful view in LA off of the cliffs. We’d do a LOT of walking, eating, and drinking – with a touch of touristy classics!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Both DreamCatchers and my speaking career would be nowhere without support from others. Entrepreneurship can be a lonely journey, which is why it is critical to find the people who will support you and be a sounding board along the way. Curtis Cloke believed in DreamCatchers from the first time he heard about it, and has helped it grow so much since then – and was the catalyst for me to even explore a speaking career. I’m grateful for my recent mentor, Ken Dychtwald, for already inspiring me and helping me through ‘mid-life crises’ in my 20’s! A.J. MacQuarrie for being my entrepreneur partner-in-crime and friend. And so many others that have been there for me and been an inspiration to me along the way.

Website: www.dreamcatchersfoundation.org; www.caitlincrommett.com

Instagram: @caitlincrommett; @dreamcatchersfoundation

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/caitlincrommett/

Twitter: @caitcrom; @dreamcatchersf

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dreamcatchersfoundation ; https://www.facebook.com/caitlin.crommett/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxf-DHsO3ghC9B75BqnKN4Q

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