15 years later: meet alumna Doty Catlin - Advance cover story

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

It was Doty Catlin’s second attempt at college. Back in 1990, she began at Grays Harbor College, but her studies quickly halted after getting married and having a baby. But when Doty enrolled at SPSCC in 2002, she was a recently single mom who knew that going back to school would provide a sound future for her daughter. “She was 11 when I started at SPSCC, in junior high.”

Watch Doty's video profile on YouTube >

Doty poses with her daughter at her weddingDoty dove in quickly to make the most of her second chance, working at the college’s Access Services office and taking mostly business-focused classes. But she also made a point to take a physical education class each quarter. “Yoga was my favorite,” she says. “As a full-time mom and full-time student, it was the one hour a day where I found my peace.”

She quickly learned that taking care of herself was a good thing for the other parts of her life, too. She made family life fun by competing with her 11-year-old daughter to see who could get the best grades, and made connections across campus through her Work Study job. “I really got a sense of community,” she says. “I felt like I belonged.”

Finally achieving her goal in 2004, the mother, student, employee, and self-believer graduated with her AA in Business and a new outlook on life.

Doty has spent the 15 years since her graduation focused on herself, becoming an established loan officer and yoga instructor in Olympia. At loanDepot, Doty connects buyers with their dream homes, helping them discover home ownership and learn fiscal responsibility. At True Self Yoga, she teaches two classes per week and works with kids at yoga camp during the summer. She also volunteers for Empowerment4Girls and AWE (Artists with Ecology).

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Doty Catlin poses in the yoga studio