Stephanie Pool, National Outreach Manager
The only team member to survive an encounter with an eight-foot hammer shark while snorkeling in Belize, Stephanie is Catalyst's most bonafide badass, a hardy explorer who has summited Mt. Whitney, climbed Mt. Rainier, backpacked the Cascades, Sierras, Rockies, and Appalachians, and hiked the South Rim of the Grand Canyon — when she was seven years old. When she isn't pulling off feats of derring-do, Stephanie serves as a Catalyst Program Advisor, guiding students and parents through the test prep and college admissions process the way a seasoned sherpa leads a team of climbers across a wide crevasse. (Not that the SAT is anything to fear or that applying to college is like crossing an icy chasm, with nothing between you and a long fatal plunge but a shaky aluminum ladder and some rope.) Prior to Catalyst, Stephanie owned a successful fitness business — one she started while twenty-two years old and eight months pregnant — and prior to that, she was an all-star student, graduating high school as Salutatorian and finishing college a semester early with a B.A. in Exercise Science. When she isn't helping students maximize their ACT and SAT scores or tending to her animals (we forgot to mention that Stephanie lives on a microfarm with chickens, rabbits, and a white duck named Stormpooper), Stephanie enjoys barbecuing with family and friends,staying in for long Harry Potter marathons with her two sons, learning how to code, and planning outdoor adventures (next big hike: Devil's Den State Park in the Ozarks).
Why She Works for Catalyst
It's her destiny. (What, everyone's gotta have a romantic destiny? No one can be foreordained to work at a test prep company or become an orthodontist?)
How the Universe Has Punished Her for Being a Freakishly Good Test-Taker
According to Stephanie — who is still getting over this, so please be delicate if you bring it up — she is such a horrible bowler that she received a Worst Bowler award signed by all of her classmates in high school. (This was obviously before our nation enacted strict legislation against bullying and mildly-exertional-sports-shaming.) We, at Catalyst, are dumbfounded that one could even go bowling enough times with one's high school classmates for them to draw this conclusion, but we don't doubt Stephanie's claim (a) because it's way too embarrassing to make up and (b) because it lets other bad-at-bowling teens know they're not alone.
Favorite 80s Movie / Favorite 80s Nobel Laureate
Back to the Future / Alva Myrdal (Nobel Peace Prize, 1982)