Cathie Plante '10

Cathie PlanteCathie Plante was a UNH student who had a remarkable experience with the CoLead program. Cathie heard about the program by doing her own research on the UNH website. Cathie chose to get a degree in the CoLead program for two reasons: she loves to help others and she admired the hands-on experience it offered. Cathie could now make her passion for volunteering into a career.

Cathie had a great experience at UNH. She was able to experience the best of both worlds by being a UNH student and a Thompson School student. She was in an applied major that didn’t make her to sit in a classroom all day. All the teachers in Thompson School knew her name and she was able to be a part of a unique community.

Cathie had two favorite courses within the CoLead program: CSL 290– Civic and Community Internship and CSL 210:  Capstone Seminar. In CSL 290, she interned at the Waysmeet Center and helped run the Cornucopia Food Pantry. She used the skills she had learned in class and worked with a “dynamic leader, Larry Brickner-Wood.” She spent the semester taking ideas and turning them into something real.

In the Capstone class, Cathie’s biggest accomplishment again involved working with the Cornucopia Food Pantry. While working there, Cathie coordinated the creation of raised garden beds to supplement the food pantry with fresh produce. Cathie says, “At first the idea seemed overwhelming—I had no idea what I was taking on! I had to take an idea and make it real—it was my responsibility to make it happen.” In order to do this, Cathie had to plan how to execute her plan. Mapping the resources, applying for grant funding, and finding volunteers to help build the garden were all a part of the process. The success of this all came from one word – Networking. "I networked with a lot of Thompson School programs-- Forestry, Landscaping, Greenhouse Management—and UNH groups like the Organic Garden Club," Cathie explains. Cathie’s plan was ultimately a success, through networking and teamwork of different groups.

After graduating from the Thompson School, Cathie went on to graduate from Granite State College with a B.S. in Nonprofit Administration and Leadership. Cathie says she was very well prepared for her future because of the CoLead program. The work Cathie had to do with nonprofit organizations left her with a lot of experience and a lot of connections in organizations she still communicates with today. “I have gone to job interviews in the nonprofit sector where the interviewer cannot believe the things I have done—grant writing, managing, volunteers, program planning…” Cathie explains.

After graduating from Granite State College, Cathie was given the opportunity to work with the Salvation Army in Boston. While working there, Cathie helped coordinate their seasonal outreach programs and plan city-wide food basket drives, coat drives, and their annual Christmas Castle. Currently, Cathie works at a local Seacoast nonprofit as an administrative coordinator. She does anything from social media marketing to volunteer coordination to donor relations and fundraising. CoLead gave Cathie a solid foundation to build on, and a better understanding of how the nonprofit world works.

The CoLead program taught Cathie how to effectively help others. She learned how to work on a team and utilize people’s strengths and talents to accomplish something. Cathie says, “One of the best things I learned while in CoLead was that leaders create other leaders. Colead focuses a lot on what it means to be a leader and how to be an effective leader.” Overall, CoLead empowered Cathie and taught her how to make a positive change not only within a community, but in her own life.

Written by Amanda Barba & Rachel Duda

<< Back to Alumni Profiles