By Bianca Mijares
Ann Kimble has been a volunteer at Catalyst Miami since 2000. She found out about Catalyst Miami, then known as the Human Services Coalition, through an event flyer forwarded to her by the Center for Independent Living. At the event, Ann discovered that Catalyst Miami was looking for volunteers, so she signed up, and from there a wonderful symbiotic relationship bloomed. She served as a “secret shopper” for them, making sure that people living with disabilities were not victims of housing discrimination. Ann also attended the Catalyst Miami Parent Leadership Training Institute. There she participated in sessions on how to speak to politicians about personal and community issues and writing grant proposals. The information she gathered at these trainings would later serve to help her start her own non-profit organization, Cross Disability Transportation Issues Committee (CDTIC). Through CDTIC Ann worked directly with citizens, the county, and company owners to edit the Para-transit contract and get pay raises and benefits for drivers. Ann is grateful for how Catalyst Miami has empowered her and taught her how to take initiative and make real changes in her community. She is back in Miami after living in Atlanta for five years and is excited to be able to work with Catalyst Miami again.