Cate White, CGCS Alumnae

Interview Series

How did your experience at CGCS impact and influence you/your life? 

The Calgary Girls Charter School shaped my life in a profound way. I went to CGCS from grades six to nine, which were foundational years in my life. The most positive thing about my experience at CGCS was the people: both the students and the teachers. I formed incredible and life-long friendships with people who have grown into inspiring women and whom I remain in touch with. I was able to form these incredible friendships because of the positive and non-judgmental environment that CGCS fostered. This was largely due to the openness, honesty, and creativity of the teachers, the majority of whom were young women. The mentorship and leadership that these teachers provided me impacted the trajectory of my entire life. They sparked an interest in history, society, critical theory, and feminism that launched me onto a pathway that was full of opportunities. I was also diagnosed with a learning disability prior to attending CGCS and the teachers and administration at the school supported me in a way that profoundly impacted my ability to succeed academically into high school, university, and now law school. The Calgary Girls Charter School taught me how to be kind, genuine, and confident. The school taught me how to build strong relationships with my friends and broader community. And within those broader lessons, the school also supported me academically and impacted my ability to be a critical, creative, and responsive global citizen and student in all aspects of my life.

Where are you and what are you doing now? 

I am currently completing my final year of law school at the University of Victoria. At the end of this semester, I am returning to Calgary (after a nine-year stint on the West Coast!) to begin my legal career at a global law firm.

What are you reading? What are you watching? What are you listening to? 

Reading:

There are two biographical books about women that I have been slowly chipping away at and have been giving me much inspiration. I love learning about the journeys that women have taken over their lives! The first book is called “  Sharp: The Women who Made an Art of Having an Opinion” by Michelle Dean. This book is a series of biographies of women writers and thinkers in the 20th Century. The second book is “  Claire L’Heureux Dubé: A Life” by Constance Backhouse. This book is about the Supreme Court of Canada Justice L’Heureux Dubé who is famous for bringing a feminist lens to Canadian law. I also enjoy reading novels and short stories and I am currently reading the short story collection “  How to Pronounce Knife” by Souvankham Thammavongsa.

Watching:

I’m currently trying to limit my screen time so I haven’t been watching much!

Listening:

Lately, I’ve been on a bit of a literary podcast kick! I love listening to interviews with writers and also getting good book recommendations from these pods. My current fav literary podcasts are the “  New York Times Book Review” and “  Writers and Company” with Eleanor Wachtel.