30 Days of Thanks: Day 1

Throughout November, in honor of Thanksgiving, we decided to participate in the "30 Days of Thanks" project. We often have discussions with the students at the foundation about giving back and becoming the leaders we know they are. So many times, our struggles surface, but, amazingly, our students are quick to remember that their situations could always be worse. Their gratitude and determination impress us, and we want to encourage you to participate in this project with us as we give thanks...

Day 1: We are thankful for our Founder, Caty Holm.

In August 2013, The Brandon Foundation opened its doors, but the idea had been developing for years prior. After graduating from Indiana University, Bloomington (Go Hoosiers!), Caty spent her first year teaching Kindergarten in Carmel, Indiana. For the next 9 years of her ten year teaching career, she taught 2nd and 3rd grade at an inner city school in Indianapolis; it was there that she would meet Brandon and her life would change...

Caty moved back to Fort Wayne after taking a job with Fort Wayne Community Schools as a Reading Interventionist, where she worked for 2 1/2 years. Today, Caty works full time during the day as a Court Reporter for Holm Reporting, a company she owns with her dad, who also plays a vital role in the foundation; she can be found most evenings at the foundation or working on projects or with kids from the foundation.

We asked Caty what motivates her to work so hard, and she was quick to answer:
"I believe that ALL children deserve the opportunity to achieve their dreams no matter what their situation may look like or what their past looks like. My passion as an educator and a leader comes from my own struggles as a child and how I was able to turn my pain into the passion that enables me to live out my purpose and help these kids towards their destiny."

Clearly, our foundation is being guided by a strong leader. Her passion is contagious. If you haven't spent time with her - whether at the foundation or not, you're missing out. Within minutes of meeting Caty, you can see, hear, and feel her passion and vision for her students and for the foundation.

In order to help you get to know her and show you why we are so thankful for her, we asked her some more questions:

What is your favorite song right now? Caty said, "I have two. Anything by Tori Kelly, and 'Good Good Father,' by Chris Tomlin." (Check it out, and let her know what you think!)

Caty is always smiling, which is another thing we love about her, so we asked her what makes her laugh. She gave us a list: "My dad's corny jokes, conversations with our kids are always entertaining, and dinner with good friends always leaves me with sore cheeks from laughing!" 

We're so blessed to have her. This month, you will learn we are thankful for many things, but without Caty's passion, vision, and leadership, The Brandon Foundation would not be the same. Thank you, Caty, for being so selfless and for giving us your everything everyday.