Teen Activist and Founder of Cati Cares
When she was just 15, Cati founded her organization Cati Cares as a way to reach out to other teens about internet safety and how teens can join together to stop cyberbullying.
Through her organization, Cati offers advice, a safe haven, and tips to stay safe and stop the vicious trend of cyber bullying. Cati believes that “When we stand together, we can change the world.” She put these words into action in the summer of 2009 when she toured across the country in an effort to join together one million teens against cyberbullying. It is this passion, drive, and call for action that made us want to feature Cati, now a freshman in college, as this month’s Changemaker.
Heart of Gold: Cati Cares is a very personal venture for you…what was your primary motivation in creating your organization?
Cati: My primary motivation was my personal experience with bullying. After my experience I realized that I could do something to help others and that no one else had to go through this alone.
Heart of Gold: When you first started Cati Cares, you were only fifteen. What enabled you to realize you could make your idea a reality and what kind of support did you have along the way?
Cati: I think my mom was the one to make me actually realize I could do this. I had the support of my family starting off and some of my friends, but after I published the site I gained a lot more support through my community.
Heart of Gold: What has been the single biggest challenge you’ve had to face in creating Cati Cares, and how did you overcome it?
Cati: The biggest challenge I had was the risk I took, or the risk I perceived there was in making Cati Cares. I didn’t know how my school, friends, or family would react when I went through with creating my website.
Heart of Gold: What piece of advice or insight would you share with teen social activists who want to create their own movement or organization?
Cati: Be genuine. If you actually care about something then voice that. You don’t have to pretend that you care, just find something that hits close to home and stay motivated. Persistence is key, remember that!
Heart of Gold: What’s next for you and Cati Cares, and how can our readers get involved in supporting it?
Cati: I am currently a Freshman at SUU in the Honors Program on a merit scholarship. As far as Cati Cares goes I want it to be a resource for anyone to use, because that was my original intention for the website, just a safe place for people to go and get help if need be. Your readers can get involved by filling out a contact form, posting on the Guestbook, as well as spreading the word about Cati Cares.
Heart of Gold: We’ll pass the word along. Thanks so much for stopping by, and good luck with school, life, and Cati Cares!