Catalyst Interview Series: Pamela Paultre

What’s a Tallahassee “love note” and what are some community members doing to retain young talent? As part of our ongoing Interview Series, we chatted with former KCCI Community Catalyst Pamela Paultre (Spark TLH, 2013) to learn more.

KCCI Tallahassee: Describe your past involvement with KCCI.
Pamela Paultre: I moved to Tallahassee about four years ago and became interested in getting more involved, in finding something more meaningful. A friend of mine recommended KCCI and when it came time to vote on a project after training, Spark TLH caught my attention, especially as a newcomer.

KCCI: Tell me a little about Spark TLH’s mission.
PP: Spark TLH is designed to appeal to students at FSU and FAMU, to get them to interact with more of Tallahassee and hopefully inspire them to stay. A lot of times, the student’s experience in Tallahassee is very limited to their college. Spark TLH aimed to make Tallahassee more accessible. We work to get students out of their campus comfort zones and out exploring all of Tallahassee’s possibilities.

KCCI: What solutions did Spark TLH propose to retain young talent?
PP: We truly went through a journey in finding the appropriate medium for this project. The idea started out as a series of service projects that could cater to the city’s different needs, everything from gardening to mural art. Then we had the idea to build an online master calendar of events in the community. Finally we decided on a blog – we still thought that a website was the best option available to us. Our big idea was to have a blog with contributions from the community where people could post “love notes” about living in Tallahassee.

KCCI: In your opinion, what makes Tallahassee special?
PP: It’s not your typical Florida city. It’s an older city with a compact, walkable downtown home to the capitol with all its historic value. Thanks in part to the universities, we have a pretty strong cultural scene, and then there are also the more rural areas that really feel like North Florida.

KCCI: What are some of your favorite spots in the city? Why?
PP: Lake Ella is definitely my favorite spot because there’s no better place in town where a good mix of different groups come together to have a good time. It’s a very relaxing spot – the businesses over there also contribute to that feeling.

KCCI: Who should consider becoming a Catalyst and why?
PP: The ideal trait in a prospective Catalyst is someone that’s a good listener. It’s not obvious because sometimes you might think you need someone with a great idea, but you have to be able to listen and use your passion for the goal at hand.