The Vessel | May 2019

Page 14

Story by Ashlyn Hodak | Photos courtesy of Live like Cat


comes to USF

ndividuals often love being a part of something bigger than themselves, and that’s exactly how Sioux Falls native Caitlyn (Cat) Carman lived her life. That is why University of Sioux Falls junior, Kenzie Erickson, decided to bring the Live Like Cat organization to campus.

on campus and will now lead Live Like Cat. "We did the book drive for Live Like Cat earlier this month and plan on doing another book drive after break. We are also looking to the education department and anyone who has ideas of what more we can do," says Erickson.

Friends and family say Cat was the most giving, passionate person who would light up a room just with her smile. She loved with her whole heart and cherished every moment of her life. Caitlyn tragically passed away from a car accident on March 8, 2018, but that didn’t stop family and friends from continuing her legacy. The Live Like Cat Organization went live on her birthday March 30, 2019. Caitlyn had a passion for education and literacy, was majoring in education at the University of South Dakota, so her organization focuses on giving back to children as well as to teachers. Around the USF campus, there are Live Like Cat boxes where students and anyone interested can donate old and new books to the organization.

Erickson met with Barb Olson, Caitlyn’s mother, and Alex Carman, Caitlyn's sister, to talk about how this could be accomplished. Olson said she loved the idea and was excited to see the organization develop at USF.

Erickson grew up with Caitlyn and is the organizer of the Live Like Cat club at USF. Erickson was the leader of Love Your Melon when the club was active

The Live Like Cat Club will start with continuing to bring awareness of Cat’s legacy around campus and will eventually branch into apparel, donating money and supplies to first through third year teachers, as well as the Live Like Cat scholarship opportunities. Erickson says, "Literally she was the best person ever. Everywhere we went, she was the one person that would make everyone laugh. She was such an amazing person on the inside and out and never failed to make everyone else's day a little better. She always put everyone elses happiness before her own."

Life Lessons Learned from Cat: 1. Never take life too seriously

2. There is something good to be found in every situation 3. Laughter is the best medicine 4. Gossip is Stupid 5. Love others simply & accept everyone for who they are 6. Live genuinely & make the best of every moment 7. Always keep a bulk sized container of candy 8. Take every opportunity you get to tell the people in your life that you love & appreciate them

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If you are interested in donating or joining the Live Like Cat organization contact Kenzie Erickson at or visit