Cathy Siegentaler was born November 4, 1951 in St. Louis MO. She is one of six siblings. Some of them worked in such jobs as ombudsman for Seattle public schools, land manager for a national park and director of a settlement house. Cathy is a social worker for Arbor Circle, a community mental health service for at risk children in Kent County schools. Her mother worked as a pre-school teacher and her father as an evangelical reform minister. He was a conscientious objector during World War II. The family moved from California where she worked with Latinos and started living in a cooperative farm housing development near Lombard, Illinois. Her father worked in Chicago in an urban training center, alongside civil rights icons like C.T. Vivian. She herself later moved to Chicago and volunteered doing door to door precinct work in the 44th and 46 wards including the Jimenez Aldermanic campaign. This was just prior to Cathy moving to Grand Rapids in 1996 where she began volunteering with the Institute for Global Education on the South East Side.