Meet Cathy. Cathy is one of EEF’s rock star volunteers. We recently sat down with Cathy for an interview about why she chooses to share her valuable time and talents with EEF, here is what she had to say…
In 2019 I was at a crossroads with my career and what direction I wanted to go. I was having little luck finding a job - but not just any job. I was determined to find something that made me feel that I was giving back and contributing to making our community a better place. I have always been a strong proponent of the importance of education and working at giving all kids the opportunity to get the most out of their education and the capability to move on to college.
Needing to figure out what I was going to do, I looked into AmeriCorps and applied. I chose the EEF project and a free tax assistance project. Although taxes are important, the tax project didn't seem nearly as interesting as the EEF hygiene pantry project. I loved the fact that there was an acknowledgment about having the means to purchase basic hygiene supplies was very difficult for some families. No student wants to go to school with dirty hair, body odor, dirty clothes, etc. Students that feel ok about themselves without being self-conscious about hygiene will be more eager and receptive to learning.
I enjoyed the people that I've met and the students and families that EEF has helped. EEF opens the door of opportunity to so many students that wouldn't otherwise be able to participate. The experience with EEF was both fulfilling and left me with a real sense of accomplishment.
If you could have an all-expense-paid adventure where would you go?
I would explore Vietnam and Thailand into the villages, their ways, and cuisine.
Tell us a fun fact about you: I won two Singer sewing trophy awards when I was 13 and 14 years old. I am almost a seamstress if I could put more time into it.
Do you have any hidden talents?
My hidden talent (as I've been told) is that I have a "medium quality"; an ability to sense the energy of others around me.
Cathy is a tribal member from the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Nation in western Montana. She was born in Montana but moved to Michigan as an infant; thus, “I was basically raised as a Michigander in Kalamazoo”. She spent summers in Montana with her grandparents, aunties and cousins.
Cathy holds a B.A. in political science from Trinity College (CT), and an M.A. in American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona. She has 2 daughters: Isabelle (20) attending NYU in the school of nursing, and Lauren (17) a high school junior.