Kaitlin, the founder and CEO of BLOOM, grew up in small town Groton, South Dakota but headed to Minnesota State University, Mankato where she graduated in 2020 with degrees in both Dance and Marketing as well as a minor in Business Administration.
Kaitlin has a strong passion promoting mental health and wellness that stems from her own personal experiences battling with an eating disorder as well as depression. Hoping to destigmatize mental health and help open the conversation around it, she created her Social Impact Initiative, “BLOOM Into a Healthier You.” After deep reflection on her life and experiences, she created the tool, BLOOM, that help others learn how to balance their mental, physical, and emotional health through reflection and strategy implementation.
As mentioned, growing up Kaitlin struggled with mental health. Living in the performing arts, she developed bad habits of constantly comparing her ability, looks, and performance to others around her. Existing in this mindset, she started down a detrimental road mentally and physically. She craved the attributes she didn’t have and put intense pressure on herself to work towards someone she wasn’t. Adding on top of that, her parents went through a hard divorce her sophomore year of high school which hit her harder than imaginable. She developed – and hid – an eating disorder, fell into a depressive state where she hated all aspects of herself, and completely lost who she was.
In college, Kaitlin decided it was time for a change- so she reevaluated her lifestyle. Changing her outlook was the first step on the road to recovery. She started focusing on her ‘why’ and regenerated the love she once had for the activities she did. After making this change, properly fueling her body along with her mind was the next huge step in her journey. With these two changes, her attitude and ability to function substantially improved.
After reflecting on her journey, Kaitlin realized she was not alone and that many others who struggle just like she did could benefit from the steps she took towards recovery. This inspired her to create BLOOM, a tool she built from strategies used in her own personal battle. Anyone going through mental, physical, or emotional struggles can utilize this acronym as an easy-to-remember tool to gain a healthy foundation.
To date, Kaitlin has held more than 50 presentations across the state of South Dakota in schools, Boys and Girls Clubs, businesses, and other events within the community reaching all ages. Kaitlin has worked closely with the South Dakota Department of Health, the University of South Dakota, and Sanford Fit in efforts to improve BLOOM and its educational components. She is extremely excited to continue to grow it further and represent South Dakota at the 100 year anniversary of Miss America in December!