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LIFE STORIES: CATA

Cata is one of those people who make you feel peaceful. She is like a backwater that invites one to stop and rethink life so as to feel stronger and full or energy.

Her naive gaze, her unhurried voice and her humble smile show Cata is determined and knows clearly where she is going. Being only 17, she already is a giant. She has not settled for a tidy life but she had the great ability to look around and ask herself what she could do for others, even though she was not in times of need.

“In my 3rd high-school year I joined the Community Service because I wanted to do something else. I knew they would help many people from the community. Florencia Premoli was there and she was the one who told me more about El Desafío. I loved the idea of volunteering there.”

It’s been two years since Cata started to be a volunteer in El Desafío in 2013 and she has never stopped. She still remembers her first day as a volunteer. “I was super nervous, I had to study a few lines I would say to the people attending the event.#As a giant, she faced her shyness and managed to take a first step. Without knowing it, Cata was leading by example one of the core ideas from El Desafío’s manifesto: “Dare to do the things that scare you the most.” A first step that led to many others.

Always willing to help, Cata teaches us a beautiful lesson of humbleness. “They have much more to offer than I have. I feel that every time I go to El Desafío I learn many things I wouldn’t learn anywhere else.”

Committed with the organization from the very beginning, she became part of Abanderados by encouraging her friends and acquaintances to vote for Mario Raimondi as Abanderado for 2013.

Cata defines herself as a shy girl. However, she has managed to get out of the shell and has never stopped doing things. As well as being part of the team responsible for setting up Minilibraries in different locations of the city, she is also in charge of one of these Minilibraries located in the downtown. This means that she has to take care of the cleaning and maintenance of the place. “I go there every two or three days and I make sure everything is in order. I clean and take away any books that may need to be repaired or that have been just donated and should be added to our stock list.”

Furthermore, Cata is also a volunteer at Step One and Program Your Future where she helps the trainers who coordinate these programs and the trainees who attend. She admits she had second thoughts about participating in the PC Training Workshop, since the attendees are teenagers like her. “My first concern was that one but then I realized I was treated respectfully and I never felt uncomfortable because of my age.”

Last March Cata had another moving experience when some friends from Global Sports Mentoring Program came to visit El Desafío. Without even noticing it, she became a key person as she was the US visitors’ interpreter.

Since in the social investment equation we all win, Cata won too. As of that moment, she started building a friendship with the girls who attended the workshops. They tear down those walls, myths and stereotypes that the society imposes to us and that make us believe we have more differences than similarities. Cata refutes that when she says “the most beautiful thing that has happened to me was finding out that we shared some interests and I could talk with the girls about them even if we do see things eye to eye.” Such is the case that she and one of the girls are planning to start studying medicine next year so they will keep running into each other at the university.

Empathetic and open-minded. That’s Cata. Like a glass recipient, you can see right through her because of how transparent she is. She loves being in contact with children, enjoys going to the shed which is “full of good vibes”, as she says.

In the future, she imagines herself playing the same role in the organization. She wants to stay in El Desafío “forever and volunteering which is what I enjoy the most.” Once again, it seems she is talking about one of our principles: “Think big and start with the small.” She is aware that everything is useful and valuable and that nothing is too little when one is willing to be the protagonist of the change.

Without any doubt, what Cata wants to communicate are those small lessons that cannot be found in a book or anywhere else but in the school of life. And she knows this very well.

HER MESSAGE

Sobre la ciudad de Rosario:

About Rosario city: “I believe it is possible. When I see the city and hear that it is full of drug abuse and there is nothing left for us to do, I don’t believe it. I don’t want to hear that we should give up, because that is not true. Sometimes, it is easier to think that there is nothing to do but to give up. But I see lots of possibilities, I see a lot that we can do.”

About El Desafío:

“I always take home some life lessons, a phrase I can’t get out of my mind and then I can apply to everything. For example, do not wait for the problems to finally solve somehow, you have to do something. If we don’t like something, we have to change it.”

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© 2016 El Desafío Foundation | Accept the Challenge.
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