Sweet Home NYC: Meet Cate Roepke, Six Degrees Society’s NYC Ambassador

I don’t know where I’d be this year if I hadn’t met Cate. Cate reached out to work with me at Six Degrees Society early in 2016. She offered an extra hand in moments where I thought I would drown. As we’ve grown and produced more events the need for a team has become more apparent and it’s people like Cate that round out what we do. 

Cate is remarkable in so many ways. From Alabama originally she moved to Madrid to teach English after college and after that on to NYC. She’s whip smart, sassy as can be and super political. I feel lucky to have Cate as part of the Six Degrees Society team and look out for Cate running more of the events solo in 2017! 

1. As a southern belle moving to NYC what was the biggest challenge in adjusting to NYC life? 

Definitely the hustle and everyday grind. This city will knock you down just when you thought you didn’t have any fight left in you. They’re not kidding when they say if you can make it here, you’ll make it anywhere. New York will completely drain you, but at the same time it will empower you and force you on your feet again. That’s the beauty of New York is that it never stops moving, and you learn you’ve got to keep moving right along with it.

2. We met in early 2015 at Sisley event, what drew you to reach out and want to be part of the SIx Degrees Society Team? 

When I walked into my first event in 2015, I was an incredibly nervous, jobless, friendless and a lost (both physically and mentally) girl. I walked out two hours later with new friends, encouragement,  and empowerment by all the amazingly talented and down-to-earth-women I met. The energy in the room was unlike anything I had seen before; these women were the real movers and shakers of our generation. I really credit that event for pushing me to pursue and conquer this new city I was in. 

Fast forward about a year later when you founded Six Degrees, I knew I had to be a part of it.  I wanted women like myself to find a sense of community. That’s why I love Six Degrees. Whether you’re new to a city, in the midst of figuring out your life, searching for inspiration or just want to hang with a different crowd of people, there is a place for everyone. At first, for me Six Degrees was a place to meet new people and learn about opportunities in the city. Now it’s a place where I meet my friends and also make new ones at each event. I am continually inspired and blown away after each event by the quality of people in the room and what they’re doing in the world.

3. What has it meant to be a part of the NY team, in addition to hosting events on your own?  

Working with Emily and Erin has truly been a dream. There’s nothing like being on a team with people who you have unlimited admiration for. Emily has been my personal motivator. She truly believes in every single person she meets and makes you feel like you can conquer the world. Anyone who knows her is better for it! Being on the team is an honor, and the best part is that it’s ALWAYS fun!

After hosting my own event in the city, i received countless emails from the women who attended. It felt like Christmas Eve in my inbox. There were messages of how much they learned, all the friends they made, how much they enjoyed the women in the group, and how the night empowered them the rest of the week.  It’s really powerful to see women who lift each other up. We women need one another, and this group solidifies that we are a better together. I can’t wait to see how many people Six Degrees touches as the community continues to grow across the country. It’s exciting to be apart of something you truly believe and know will make the world better!

4. Your native Alabama is becoming one of the tourist destinations. What are three-five things to do in Alabama?

I am thrilled that Alabama is finally getting the recognition it deserves. Some big names in music over the past few years have come from my home state, so going to a music venue is a must.  Hang-out music festival is on my personal to-do list for my state next summer. Listening to music on the beach, what is better than that?

2) Get outside. We love being outdoors in Alabama, whether it’s hiking, swimming in our beautiful lakes, canoeing down the cahaba river, or simply swinging on the front porch, you will always find Alabamians enjoying nature. 

3) EAT. I have traveled to over thirty international cities in the last few years, and I always find myself comparing restaurants to those in my hometown in Birmingham, Alabama. I’d even dare to say Birmingham is the best kept foodie secret. From the delectable French food at Chez Fon Fon, the James Beard award winning Chef’sat Hot and Hot,to the most delicious barbeque you’ll ever put in your mouth at Saw’s, we have it ALL in Birmingham. 

 5. If you were to go back and talk to the 21 year old version of yourself, what would you tell her?

Life happens for you and not to you. The journey brings pain, unexpected hurdles, surprises but you must keep moving with kindness and dignity. Life may not happen the way you envision it, but it will turn out better than you could ever imagine. Keep dreaming big and never stop fulfilling your dreams.

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