A granddaughter to a WWII Fighter Pilot Trainer, Cathy Steeves had fallen in love with things out of this world since she was a young girl and dreamed of becoming an astronaut one day. With encouragement from her Grandpa Steeves, she enrolled in Air Cadets.
As she was on track to conquer her goal to ground control, Steeves soon learned there was only one thing stopping her – she didn’t like flying.
“The experience as an Air Cadet was amazing, but I discovered that I didn’t like flying. The nausea was just too much. So, I played in the band and participated in National level biathlon instead,” Steeves shared.
“Serving time in the Air Force Reserves as a young adult taught me some important lessons about self-discipline, service and dedication to a cause. This led to some amazing experiences and opportunities to learn from incredible leaders.”
She still plays in a band to this day with her volunteer involvement with the Fort McMurray Legion Pipes and Drums Band. Steeves is also very active in volunteering with Keyano Theatre, the Fort McMurray Food Festival, the Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Wine Auction along with many other causes and organizations.
As for learning from incredible leaders, Steeves had learned to become one in her adulthood and taught elementary school students for two decades. One of her first experiences was teaching kindergarten children in the Bahamas. It was here she discovered that “kids are kids, no matter what country they live in,” she said.
She also educated confidence in her students by teaching them valuable life lessons to challenge themselves in finding their expertise.
“There were two important lessons I wanted each of my students to master,” she said. “One: Learning should be fun. Two: Each person has their own set of unique skills. Not everyone can be good at drawing, sports or math. Excel at something. Become an expert in at least one subject. It’s because of our diversity that we are a strong, vibrant community.”
Many locals would agree that they are glad Steeves’ future stayed grounded in the region (and not in space) because she has become the valuable community asset that she had taught her students to be.
Her current day job places her inside the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo’s Regional Emergency Services department as an Emergency Social Services Coordinator. Through her work, she coordinates volunteers and makes an incredible impact on others by helping provide shelter, food and emotional support when disaster forces people from their homes.