Intro Spotlight: Kaitlyn Cochran

In keeping with our tradition of interviewing new team members, we asked our new Intern, Kaitlyn, a few questions so that you all can get to know her!

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi, I’m Kaitlyn! I grew up in West Virginia but left at 18 and spent the last 12 years living and working all over the U.S. (Kentucky, Michigan, Florida, Montana, Idaho, California, North Carolina) and Colombia. I spent those years working in the restaurant industry waiting tables, as a family nanny, on family farms, as a massage therapist, and in a non-profit. Those experiences directed me in a really roundabout way to law school, where I have focused on public interest and environmental law, and how those realms intersect and overlap.

How did you become interested in Circulate San Diego?

I became interested in Circulate San Diego while I was taking Parisa Ijadi-Maghsoodi’s Poverty Law Course at USD. During the course we read and spent time talking about discriminatory housing laws in cities and how important good zoning policies are moving forward. After seeing that Circulate was hiring interns, and talking with Parisa about all Circulate does in its advocacy for equitable housing, in addition to all the other areas of work, I was excited for the possible opportunity to work on the policy side of public interest and I am super fortunate to get the opportunity.

What’s your most memorable face palm moment? Or what is your biggest achievement to date? Choose one

I have so many face palm moments I don’t know that I could ever choose one. I think my biggest achievement was when I bought a $30 wood burner from a craft store and taught myself how to wood burn. I created my own mini-business of selling wood-burned spoons. I was able to road trip and travel across the U.S. for five months surviving on the income from selling those spoons alone. 

If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?

It’s hard for me to name one person specifically, and I think that people throughout my life that I have considered mentors—or like a guide for navigating my own existence—have all had some common themes. I think anyone who can embrace the nuance in human experiences and can engage with complex/difficult topics in a self-reflective way has been something that I feel inspired when I see. I think especially in public interest and advocacy work it’s easy to buy into an idea of what an advocate should be and how they should act, and it’s been really cool during law school to see the wide variety of ways in which advocates can maneuver systems and be effective in change in really creative ways that never seem to be a one-size-fits-all approach.


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