Alyse Cato

cato_alyseAlyse Cato

Director of Community Programs, World Affairs Council, Seattle Washington

“Mock Trial helped teach me how to think critically and to think on my feet.”

Alyse participated in Mock Trial in 11th and 12th grade and loved being a witness. She enjoyed mastering and analyzing the complex story in the case materials. “I was a fairly shy person growing up,” reflects Alyse, “but my experience as a witness, where I was often put on the spot in front of an audience, helped me become more confident and taught me to quickly analyze what was being asked and determine the best response to give. Being able to think on my feet helped me both in college and later on.”

Alyse attended the University of Puget Sound and earned a B.A. in international business and international affairs. What she had learned in Mock Trial helped her succeed. “At a small liberal arts college, I had smaller classes,” says Alyse, “and discussions were common. Being put on the spot by a professor was a normal occurrence.” She also used the research skills she had learned as a middle school participant in History Day: “I learned how to interpret my research and select what pieces of information to use to develop the most convincing, captivating story.”
She continues to use these skills as the director of community programs at the World Affairs Council, a nonprofit organization in Seattle. “I research and invite experts on various international topics to speak about those issues to the greater community,” explains Alyse. “I frame the events to present the topic in a way that engages community members.”

At times, she is asked to moderate these public events. “I'm not an expert on every topic our speakers cover,” she says, “so I need to listen closely to their remarks and from that and my research, come up with questions to facilitate and add depth to the conversations.” She says her experience in CRF’s programs gave her the skills and inclinations to succeed and pursue a career devoted to serving and enriching her community.