Chrysti Britt, one of the honorees of this year’s Women Who Light the Community award in Boulder, is the executive director of Cultivate, a non-profit organization that helps communities such as Boulder connect to seniors in need. Chrysti has a background in civil services and human services, having worked in emergency medical services in a jail and fundraising for Metro State University before she joined Cultivate.

Chrysti felt compelled to join Cultivate after watching her own mother care for her aging grandfather. Having been raised in a biracial household with a Korean mother, Chrysti came from a culture that cared for its elders and often had them in the same household throughout their lives. “In my culture our families take care of each other; it wasn’t even a concept that there were seniors that didn’t have anybody. It was eye opening to discover how much care someone may need as they age.”

Chrysti began her work as the Director of Community Giving, which gave her the opportunity to understand the program, create community relationships, and see the organization as a whole. She then transitioned into Executive Director in 2017, leading Cultivate into its current iteration.

When Chrysti transitioned into her position as Executive Director, it became clear to her that the company needed to diversify to meet the needs of the community. Chrysti started at the company as the most diverse person there, both in age and in culture, and she wanted to expand the viewpoints that Cultivate was hearing from and began leading an initiative to have a diverse workforce. “There’s other incredible viewpoints in both age and culture. We’re now at over 60% diversity in terms of ethnicity and race and have a good representation of ages and backgrounds in board and staff. We continually strive to internally represent many facets of diversity as we are committed to inclusivity in order to better serve all underrepresented populations within our community such as the LGBTQ community, our Spanish-speaking neighbors, and our military veterans, which is where our current focus area is. Cultivate is bringing the tools, awareness, and education opportunities to be inclusive with diverse opinions and perspectives, and we want our community to be representative of that.”

Chrysti’s work at Cultivate is what led to her Women Who Light the Community award, which Chrysti says is an honor that’s representative of Boulder’s spirit of resilience, which has especially been seen during COVID as the community has come together to support one another. “I’m incredibly grateful that the work I’m passionate about is at the same level of other women that have won the award. It’s an incredible way to bring a voice to the struggles of the aging population and how important community is, with people coming together for good,” Chrysti said.

Chrysti hopes that she can be an inspiration for other young women and offered some advice for those looking to make a difference in their communities. “Don’t sell yourself short. SO many times in the media or the news or middle schools there is so much negative pressure placed on women for things that don’t matter. Because of that, I’ve seen too many amazing girls and young women grow up to not believe in themselves. Look for the good. Listen for that positivity. We can accomplish incredible things and we do. To represent the spirit of Boulder is to be resilient of that and to make the choice to drown out all that extra noise.”

Volunteering can be difficult with COVID, and Cultivate needs the help, even if the seniors can’t use in-person volunteers due to their increased vulnerability. Luckily, Cultivate has a variety of ways that you can help seniors in Boulder including VetsGo, which provides medical transportation for senior veterans and their senior family members, Carry Out Caravan, which provides no-contact grocery shopping and delivery Fix-It, which connects seniors to those in the community who are able to help with minor home repairs, or SnowBusters, which helps seniors by shoveling snow from their driveway and sidewalks. If you’re interested in volunteering, fill out an application form and a member of Cultivate will get back to you to let you know how you can help.

Kaylee was raised (but not *technically* born) in Colorado. She graduated from Regis University with a bachelor of arts in English. During her time at Regis she worked as a teaching assistant in a freshman classroom setting and in the writing center helping students on a variety of topics. While there, she discovered Cura Personalis, or care for the entire person, leading to her love of feminism and desire for equal rights for all. Kaylee is the managing editor for AboutBoulder, OnDenver, and a key member of the OnMetro team, launching this platform in cities across the United States.