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Snapshot: Lia Jill Levitt

Published: August 17, 2018 at 10:58 am

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Occupation: I’m the founder of Ain’t She Sweet LLC, a company dedicated to bringing joy and inspiration to the lives of seniors and those who care for and who care about them. I began the company last fall, and it combines my passions of public speaking, writing, and working with the elderly. I’m writing a book called Ain’t She Sweet: A Coming of (Old) Age Story. The goal of my book is to reduce trepidation in society about long-term care facilities and to show all the joy and positivity that can be associated with old age. My other business, which I’ve been doing since college, is called Academic Architect. I work with middle school through graduate students, doing college and graduate school admissions. I take people through the full-scale process from major selection, school selection, resumes, and I do career coaching. I also do organizational development consulting for global companies and just did a project for Harley Davidson.

Family: My grandmother was everything to me and lived to be 99. My book is a congruent coming-of-age story of myself and my grandmother, who was and will always be the closest person to me. Now I spend my time hanging out with the next generation: my twin nieces, Haley and Briella, who are 7; and baby Joey, who is going to be 2 years old.

Pets: I have an elderly cat, Chamomile. She was found on the side of the road with her kittens, in Bethel, and I adopted her from DAWS in 2005. She is such a sweet little companion. I’m such an advocate for pet adoption.

How long have you lived in Newtown? Since 2004. I had seen my house on realtor.com and would stare at it all the time. When I got on the lawn, before I even went in, I knew I was going to live there. What I loved about the house is that it had a ramp; where others saw that as an eyesore, I saw it as a way my grandmother could come over no matter what stage in her life — walker or wheelchair.

What do you like to do in your free time? International travel. Also, I’m a loyal Caraluzzi’s shopper and love cooking stew, like beef bourguignon. My other hobbies are writing, watching indie movies at Bethel Cinema, going to local theater productions, and I’m a die-hard Knicks fan. I watch every single game, go to Madison Square Garden, and I travel, sometimes by plane, for away games.

Do you have a favorite book? Cutting For Stone by Dr Abraham Verghese. It is the most epic tale of non-familial loyalty, and it expands the definition of family to who you choose to be in your life. Also, Being Mortal by Atul Gawande. It emphasizes conversations that, although they may be difficult, are necessary for humans to have.

What is your favorite travel destination? I’ve been traveling since 2010 and averaging about seven to 12 countries a year. My favorite place is Cape Town, South Africa. That’s where I went after my grandmother passed, so it’s very meaningful.

What is the best part about Newtown? The community feeling. I’ve always found the motto “It’s nicer in Newtown” is a real thing. It’s a resilient, wonderful place. This is a community that I am proud to live in.

Who or what has been the greatest influence in your life? Before, during, and after college, I took care of two boys, Billy and Andrew, and that had a tremendous and profound influence on my life. It was the hardest job I ever had, but that five-year period was such a joy.

If you could spend the day with one person, who would you choose and why? My grandfather, Louis, who I was named after. He died the year before I was born. I always wanted to meet my grandmother’s greatest love. He sounded like a kind, gentle, and highly intelligent man.

What is your personal philosophy? There are two types of people: those that wonder what if and those that already know.

What is your proudest accomplishment? My education. I got my second graduate degree from UPenn and commuted while working in Connecticut. There was no online component, and not only did I graduate on time while doing three internships, working full time, and helping five teenage clients, but I also graduated with a 4.0 GPA.

 

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