A few years ago, Katie Andrews was living in Brooklyn and working as a producer in post production. In her early 30s, she had reached a stage in her life when things just weren’t going well. She needed something to pull her out of her funk, and skateboarding turned out to be just what she needed. Today, as she moves back to New York City for another job producing color correction on commercials and movies, she feels inspired to build on what she learned from skateboarding and help others find community and self-confidence.
Script for Episode 17, a conversation with Katie Andrews. We veer off it, though it does cover the talking points.
This is At Home Radio, a welcoming space for conversation, insight, and stories of resilience and purpose.
I’m your host Kate Jones, and my guest today is Katie Andrews, who’s temporarily back in her hometown of Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where she established a small chapter of the Girls Riders Organization, also know as GRO. It was founded in 2006 to inspire girls through skateboarding.
Hi, Katie, thank you for being on the show today!
We’ll talk about skateboarding and what it means to you. First, however, let’s talk about you.
You recently got a new job. Congratulations! Please describe what you’re going to do and where you’ll be working.
[A producer in post production, color correcting commercials and movies. Working remotely from your apartment in Carlisle; moving back to New York City in August.]
You have a lot of connections in the big city having lived and worked there before. You were in post production then too, right?
You came across GRO while you were living in Brooklyn. You were in your early 30s at the time and wanted to learn to skateboard. Why?
You joined the New York chapter and served as president for a while. What was your experience with skateboarding? Why is it important to you?
Your company transferred you to Los Angeles, but LA didn’t suit you as well as New York did. So you made a decision. What was it?
[Left Los Angeles in 2018. Wanted to work into a full-time job at GRO but came home to Carlisle to develop your plans. It’s a comfortable town that you know well, and your parents are there.]
But you had to shift those plans, didn’t you?
[The founder of GRO moved back to her home state of Indiana and got a job with another nonprofit. “We sort of let GRO fizzle out.” Also, the need for GRO wasn’t quite the same because more girls were skateboarding. Now, it’s not hard to find girls who skateboard. Skateboarding is even an Olympic sport!]
You had planned to stay in Carlisle for six months, but ended up there for quite a while. Please talk about what you learned being back in your hometown.
[Started working in a grocery store and ended up in the floral department. Loved it. Worked with a woman who had been in the floral industry for 40 years. You and she had many shared interests and got along famously. Discouraging, though, that you both produced incredibly high-end quality work for little pay. So you went back to waiting tables.]
You were determined to get back to New York, and now you’re on your way. You have a vision for something that you’d like to pursue on the side while you’re there. What is that vision?
[Not everybody feels accepted. I believe in offering young adults — both women and men — different activities that aren’t the typical team sports. “My grand big dream is to develop a big facility that teaches all kinds of skills not commonly explored and offered to young people, from skateboarding to cooking to gardening. For example, some young women in their 20s said they didn’t know how to cook. Another example: my friend is a big record collector. That’s kept him engaged.” You said you’d like this facility to offer a bunch of different activities — yoga, meditation, crystal classes (you collect a lot of crystals). Women’s history. Women you’ve never heard of who have done remarkable things. Courtney Payne Taylor, the GRO founder, for example, over 10 years taught 10,000 females to skateboard. They ranged from 3 years old to 65.]
What is your ultimate goal?
[Build our community together. Everyone is important as an individual. Everyone’s voice matters. Celebrate the beauty of someone as an individual.]
Sounds wonderful, Katie. Thank you for sharing your experiences and goals.
This is Kate Jones with At Home Radio. Until next time, thanks for joining us.
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