Hi Everyone! My name is Cathryn Murray, but you can call me “Cat.” I stumbled across Beutiful on facebook and vowed one day I would contribute something. And here I am writing a bio for you all. I believe in the mission and goals of Beutiful 100% and am so glad to be a member. I am passionate about so many things…I believe that one person can make a difference, but two or more can really change the world! Cathryn MurrayLet’s see, I am a full time student at Heald Business College in Concord, CA, majoring in Entrepreneurship Business. I have always been an entrepreneur. At the age of 8, I started a candy business, which led to me starting a Non-profit Organization called Global Teen Club International (GTCI). The GTCI was an international organization comprised of ethnically diverse and socially aware young people. I ran the organization without social media, and relied on the mail and writing letters to promote my cause. I ran the organization until my late twenties, and stopped to pursue other things in my life. Along the way in discovering what I wanted to do with my life, I found plus-size modeling. I started modeling in 1999 and absolutely loved the camera. I have always been shy, but being in front of the camera was so much fun. I was never a size 0 or 2, I actually modeled at the size of 14 and 16.  In the beginning it was really hard finding photographers that liked my look or wanted to work with my size. However, I stuck with it and marketed myself on the internet, where I received a lot of recognition. I appeared on the Tyra Banks Show, appeared in several Bridal magazines, a bus bill board, toured the country with Just My Size as a bra and panty fit expert for plus-size woman and did many other awesome projects. I loved modeling and it helped me become comfortable with my body. But in 2008, I decided to retire to go back to school and educate myself. But then my life took a turn for the worse, I was hospitalized in 2009 and diagnosed with Bipolar I. I lost everything and became homeless. I was fortunate to work with a great Case Manager that found permanent housing for me. My life changed and I soon found myself learning about my condition, medications and going to doctors. My life did change, but it also helped me become the person that I am today. I have become stronger and I was very lucky to be apart of a program called Spirit through a local community college. Although I have no intentions of being a Peer Support Worker, the program The S.P.I.R.I.T.(Service Provider Individualized Recovery Intensive Training) program trains and educates those who would like to become better self-advocates and/or become Mental Health Service Providers (MHSP). It was this program that made me realize that I can continue with my education and accomplish things even with a mental illness. When I found Beutiful, I finally found a community of people like myself, who were passionate about issues. I have always been passionate about human rights, weight issues, and speaking up about causes that I felt were important. I guess you can say I have a keyboard and I am not afraid to use it! I find myself writing a lot about issues that are important to me and voicing my opinion on my own facebook page,  so Beutiful was such a wonderful “gem” to find. I look forward to being a part of the project and meeting you all. Thank you for taking the time to learn about me. Cheers, Cathryn M. Murray “If you’re an underdog, mentally disabled, physically disabled, if you don’t fit in, if you’re not as pretty as the others, you can still be a hero.” – Steve Guttenberg