My name is Catherine Bornhorst, and I am the woman behind Born Ingenuity. I am a full-time mom, full-time business owner, part-time Executive Director, and adjunct faculty member. It sounds busy – and it is – but it is the perfect cadence for this season of life.
Reflecting back, I realize I’ve been pulled and guided to my current reality. With almost two years of pre-med classes completed, a 6 year-old named Clarence pulled me into Early Childhood Education. This guided me to transfer to Miami University, complete my degree, and become a teacher for Cincinnati Public Schools in the very building I was first pulled.
Transferring to Miami guided me to my husband, and I was soon pulled (willingly, I should add) to Albuquerque, New Mexico on military orders. I was guided into University of New Mexico’s Educational Leadership program and soon found a role as graduate student and research assistant. With my education background, I was eventually pulled to join a program evaluation company that exposed me to the vast, systemic and structural inequalities that further complicate education and social wellbeing. They also helped reveal my aptitude for grantwriting, which unsurprisingly nurtures my competitive nature.
Pulled again on military orders, I found myself back in southwest Ohio. Unclear on next career steps, my undergraduate college professor guided me to join Miami University’s Teacher Education Department as an adjunct professor. Currently, I am in my third year teaching the very course that further fueled my critical and rogue identity as an educator. After starting my adjunct role, I was guided by a neighbor to join one of the largest and highest performing community colleges in the nation as their grants development coordinator. I considerably strengthened and refined my grant writing knowledge and abilities during my tenure, but with news of a second baby boy on his way, I knew I needed something more flexible.
So, I was pulled to start my own business, Born Ingenuity. At the same time, I was offered the opportunity to be the Executive Director of the National Network for Educational Renewal, a membership network committed to the simultaneous renewal of schools and the institutions that prepare teachers. It was a natural fit, a seamless integration of my passions and desire for flexibility and time home with my babies.
Notably, the pulling and guiding includes the inordinate reassurance, confidence, and support from countless individuals, and in my work, I operate from this place of gratitude and agency. I am humbled and inspired by the courageous work people engage in to improve educational and social wellbeing, and I am delighted to stand beside them.
I look forward to your guidance. Or perhaps a pull.
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