Editor’s Note: This feature is part of a series spotlighting people who’ve lived in Charlotte for less than a year. If that sounds like you, we’d like to share your story.
Names: Kallan and Katrina Louis
Moved From: South Florida
How Long in Charlotte: Katrina, 3 months; Kallan, 1 month
Occupations: Katrina — communications manager, Charlotte Works; Kallan — external communications specialist, Ingersoll Rand; freelance writer.
Hobbies: Katrina — Trying new foods, working out, attending the arts; Kallan — Watching and participating in sports (Miami HEAT, Dolphins and Florida Gators)
What brought you here? We were looking to relocate. We made a list of places we were considering based on quite a bit of research as well as our personal preferences. After visiting our top choices in 2014, we felt that Charlotte was the best option for us.
Most memorable moment: Being reunited and finally calling Charlotte home! Katrina moved in April and began working. She went back and forth between Charlotte and Miami a few times during that time for various reasons. Kallan was in Miami finishing projects at work so he didn’t become a permanent resident until the end of June.
What do you like best about Charlotte? Charlotte is a city on the rise with plenty of potential. A lot is happening in the QC! We wanted to move to a place where we could be part of the growth and development. In addition to all the great things to do in town, we can drive to popular destinations in neighboring states in a just few hours. You can’t do that in South Florida!
What do you like least? Katrina — We live very close to Uptown, so the lack of separate turning lanes on a number of streets can be frustrating, especially when traffic is heavy. Kallan — I know it is currently in expansion, but I was hoping the light rail would have had more lines and stops by the time I arrived. It’s almost a necessity to have access to a car in South Florida. I have racked up serious miles on my car and I haven’t even had it for two years yet. I am looking forward to taking the light rail and walking whenever I can instead of driving.
How have you gotten involved? Katrina — I’ve tried to continue participating in groups I was affiliated with back home. I’m a proud University of Florida graduate, so I’ve gotten involved with the Charlotte Gator Club to volunteer at Second Harvest for International Gator Day. I also joined the local Urban League Young Professionals as well as the Charlotte chapter of Public Relations Society of America. Kallan — I haven’t completely settled in yet, but I have reached out to local groups I already had affiliations with from South Florida, including the National Association of Black Journalists, the University of Florida Gator Club, Urban League Young Professionals, and I met some of my fraternity brothers who are actively involved in the local alumni chapter
How would you like to get more involve? Katrina — I would like to get involved in mentoring the youth, like I did back in South Florida. I’d also like to be a supporter of the arts through philanthropy. As I continue to learn the needs of the community, I can better assess how I can get involved. Kallan — I plan to mentor black male youth. I also plan to work with and support organizations that give opportunities for low-income youth to participate in activities that will positively enrich their lives and offers channels toward success. I have few others things I’m working on, but I can’t give away all my secrets!