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Ben Katz, Nu’02, W’02, WG’02

“While I began my professional path in the Penn Nursing program, I took a wildly different course after college. Rather than continuing to become a practicing nurse, I found my way into finance and started an online bank called CARD.com.”

“We were a financial technology startup and I grew the company from the ground up…until I completely burned out. Exhausted, tired, and seeking a greater purpose, I did some soul searching. And in that space, one of the most important lessons I learned at Penn Nursing came back to me.

When I was a nurse, I observed something: that when people are sick, as much as they need nurses, doctors, medical technology, and medication, they need community. When people are sick, the ones who get better are often the ones who are loved. Whose families come to visit. Whose friends stop by frequently. When people are in their most dire straits, it is community that gets them to the other side as much as anything else.

Twenty years after I began my nursing journey at Penn, I found my way back. I decided that I wanted to create a community with health and wellness as the centerpiece. That vision blossomed into Haven Coliving. Today, 96 people live in a beautiful, intentional community that I co-founded in the heart of Venice, CA - and health and wellness are the foundational pillars of our community.

We are expanding, as more and more people are drawn to the lifestyle we are cultivating.

This new chapter of my life, and the love and connection we cultivate at Haven, sprouted from a seed that was planted in me as a Penn Nurse twenty years ago.”

To submit your own story, visit: www.nursing.upenn.edu/humans.