04 Sep Youth Central 14 Alumni: Cathy Han
Youth Central is celebrating its 25th anniversary!
To mark this milestone Youth Central is profiling 25 of its alumni throughout the years. Youth Central’s Youth Are Awesome (YAA) program is helping out by interviewing and profiling the alumni. This article is written by Hafsah Syed, one of YAA junior editors.
Cathy Han is an alumnus who was a part of Mayor’s Youth Council (MYC) in 2005 – 2006. Despite being a member of MYC for one year, Cathy’s contributions have left a tremendous legacy for Youth Central volunteers. An innovative, skilled, and fearless individual, Cathy has devoted her life and skills to not only following her passion, but utilizing it to benefit societies worldwide.
Fond of the idea of working with like-minded youth, Cathy decided to volunteer with Youth Central and serve on MYC. “We had a chance to meet Mayor Bronconnier as part of MYC… to tell the Mayor about what mattered to us and how we wanted to help the city,” Cathy recalls as one of her most cherished memory at Youth Central. “It gave all of us a sense that if we wanted to, we could help change the city, regardless of our age or background.”
“Youth Central gave me a real opportunity to learn how to be a leader and how to represent others… starting [to volunteer] early helped me to realize that there was no limit to what I could learn or contribute… ultimately, all of that led me to the path of becoming an entrepreneur.”
Cathy was a leader during her time at Youth Central, and she has continued to strengthen her role as a leader today. Cathy is the leader and cofounder of her own company called 42, a SaaS (software as a service) retail data analytics company that caters to businesses worldwide. For the past four years, Cathy has committed to innovating new data technology, shaping and improving the technology industry.
Cathy has expanded her circle of influence from Calgary to include cities across USA, Europe, and Asia. She works with like-minded people worldwide who share the desire to change the status quo, a goal fundamentally similar to that of MYC and the city of Calgary. Cathy describes MYC as a “launch pad” that has helped to propel her to the leader she has become today.
“It’s important to learn how to fail and how to move on from that.” Cathy remembers the challenges she’s faced starting her company. “If you’re someone who succeeds at everything that you do, congrats, but realize at the same time that you’re probably not living up to your full potential,” Cathy said.
As a final piece of advice to the young generation of today, Cathy sends a message of fearlessness, growth, and determination: “Don’t be afraid. Step up, make that suggestion, email the person you want to talk to, start the initiative that you’ve always wanted to start. What’s the worst that can happen – people disagree and don’t respond to your emails? It’s not that bad, at least you gave it a shot.
“Put yourself out there and continue to learn and grow. Don’t fall into a routine, you’re too young for that. Set some goals and get to it, and remember how lucky you are to have the opportunities that you have. Don’t’ be afraid. Everything you want is on the other side of fear. Remember to have fun!”