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CATS honors founders, celebrates successes

CATS friends, supporters, students and staff honored CATS founders and celebrated CATS successes at a Founders Event that packed the light-filled lobby at our Longworth Hall studios. Successes celebrated included nearly 15 years serving Cincinnati with a sustained graduation rate exceeding 90% and 50% college enrollment rate.

There were student-led tours and presentations by CATS founders. CATS graduates told their personal stories of how CATS transformed their lives and set them on a path to their current successes. One of our founders, MacArthur Genius Bill Strickland, spoke eloquently of the experiences that turned his own life around as a street kid in Pittsburgh, and inspired him to create the model after which CATS, and worldwide centers like us, are patterned.

Top row: L-R: CATS founders included Lee Carter, Bill Strickland, Pierre Wevers, Bob Castellini; CATS students led tours of our studios and facilities; CATS board member Peter Bergman talks with a guest; Middle row: CATS co-founder Lee Carter gives guests an inside look at how the program began; Early guests filling the Longworth Hall lobby; CATS graduates Nancy and Nayeli Giron share how CATS helped them create successful lives; Bottom row: CATS board member Carol Shea, founder Bill Strickland, board member Kelly Kolar, chairwoman Karen Bowman, CEO Clara Martin; the speakers captured guests’ full attention; Bill Strickland talks with Kathy Merchant, former president/CEO of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation.

See slideshow.