If you look up the definition of “exhuberant” in the dictionary, I am quite sure that you will see the lovely face of Katherine Simmons smiling back at you. For if ever there existed the personification of “effusively and almost uninhibitedly enthusiastic,” it would, indeed, be she. It’s almost as if Messrs. Merriam and Webster knew her personally.
I’ve had the distinct pleasure of working with Katherine for the past month, and I can honestly say that not only is the relationship between this astonishing young woman and Scooter’s Jungle a mutual admiration society, it is truly a sight to behold. Katherine absolutely loves her job. In our society, where it is quite common for the younger generation to switch jobs every few years, I found it refreshing that someone so young had such a record of employment longevity. It isn’t often you hear that someone absolutely adores what they do and the company they do it for. That is a trait that I learned very quickly was not uncommon at Scooter’s Jungle. Like Katherine, many of the amazing staff have been here for a while, and WANT to stay. “We’re a family.”
Katherine joined the Scooter’s Jungle family in her sophomore year of high school. She went on from high school to attend Colorado State University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a concentration in Industrial Organizational Psychology. She puts that degree to effective use in her work and agrees that Scooter’s Jungle was definitely on her mind when in pursuit of her educational goals. “I knew I wanted to work with kids. I also knew that I wanted to work with a company that centered around kids.”
When asked how long she’d been with Scooter’s Jungle, she flashed one of her winning smiles and proudly proclaimed; “Eight and a half years!” I asked her what it is about Scooter’s Jungle that she loves and what is it that’s kept her here? Without a hint of hesitation, that brilliant smile lit up her face and quite matter-of-factly, she explained to me that it’s one of her goals in life to put smiles on people’s faces. That, she feels, is also the goal of Scooter’s Jungle and the reason she’s found a home here; a home that she sees herself in not just now but in the future as well. “As Scooter’s Jungle grows, I hope to grow with them. It’s a happy, friendly environment that also allows parents to be kids.”
If motivational companies ever needed a spokesperson, they need not look much further than Katherine. She is a powerhouse of efficiency who runs the Aliso Viejo location with a confidence and maturity that belies her “just turned 23” years. She is modestly self-effacing, jokingly pointing out that she knows she has tendencies toward OCD as she deals with minute details, but she always wants to set her staff up to succeed.
She feels that being the youngest of seven has helped her to be outgoing or in her words; “loud.” “I had to be loud to be heard.” Luckily, that’s a benefit here. In her free time, Katherine enjoys “hanging out” with friends, family and her significant other of 4-1/2 years, Anthony. But mostly, she loves making people smile, and I have to say, she’s pretty good at it.