Hometown: Knoxville, Tennessee
Platform Issue: Attacking Addiction: Prevention, Recovery, and Restoring Families
Talent: Vocal – “I Have Nothing”
College Major: Obtained a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in business administration.
Scholastic Ambition: To obtain a PhD in psychology and a master’s of education in child studies from Vanderbilt University, in order to become a clinical child psychologist.
Secret Wish or Dream: I would love for the a cappella group I founded on UT’s campus called VOLT to be the opening act for the Pentatonix World Tour!
My Inspiration: My mom is the reason I am a healthy and successful individual today. Addiction is a multi-generational problem in my family; my father was addicted to alcohol and opioid drugs. She divorced him when I was four and my sister was only two. It took extraordinary courage for her to start over as a single mom. She removed us from a potentially dangerous situation and did the best she could to provide for and protect us from the difficult, unsupervised weekly visitations with our father. He committed suicide just three years ago after going through rehab four times. Since addiction has such a strong genetic component, I am grateful every day that I have not fallen victim to substance abuse. I owe my stability to my brave, remarkable mom.
Bio: Growing up a child of divorce, the daughter of an addict, and surrounded by many other family members struggling with addiction, Caty knows first-hand how substance abuse can destroy a family. Since the suicides of her half-brother, and then her father three years ago, her resolve to spotlight the addiction epidemic has become her life’s focus. Caty has tenaciously raised over $40,000 for substance abuse issues and organizations. As a National Ambassador for Facing Addiction, a State Spokesperson for Tennessee’s Anti-Drug Coalition, and the Governor’s Character Education program, she has reached thousands with her personal story, education, and empowering message of hope.