Meet Catherine Hughes. Hailing from a small town southeast of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, dubbed “the most boring town in Pennsylvania,” Catherine Hughes is the daughter of two English professors. She is a passionate advocate, innovative storyteller, and community strategist.
Catherine is an international best-selling author and/or editor of multiple books including It’s Going to be AUlright: Testimonies from Ausome Women Raising Ausome People, You Are Not Alone: Stories, Resources and Hope from Autism Moms, several books in the Made to Overcome series, Becoming an Exceptional Leader: Inspiration from 14 Accomplished Disability Changemakers, Mental Health DisABILITY: Perception vs. Reality (by Louis Bianco), From the Inside Out: An Autistic Person’s Journey to Creating Inclusive Employment Opportunities (by Mary Nixon Hahn), and We All Belong: Musings on Inclusion, Acceptance, and Kindness.
Her long-awaited memoir, Imprisoned No More: A Mother and Son Embrace Autism and Journey to Freedom released in August 2020. She presented her father’s poetry (Seeking Utopia: The Art, Poems, and Passages of John J. Tomko) on what would have been his 77th birthday (1/16/21). The release of both of these books (and all of her other projects) fulfill the promise she made to her father in his final days.
Catherine has managed a blog and social media platforms as The Caffeinated Advocate since 2018. If you were wondering about her caffeine of choice, she’s always loved her Dunkin’ but is now a sponsored “barista babe” for Coffee Over Cardio. Birthday Cake is her CoC java of choice. Who doesn’t need a little caffeine and cake in their life, right?
In August 2020, Catherine not only released her memoir, but also founded The Caffeinated Advocate, LLC. She is the Chief Inspirational Officer (CIO), and offers a wide array of services as an author, editor, coach, consultant, speaker, and trainer. She is a Certified Master Life Coach, with certifications endorsed by Transformation Academy of Clearwater, Florida.
For over seventeen years, she has provided comprehensive support and passionate advocacy to individuals and self-advocates, their families, and surrounding natural supports throughout their communities. She considers herself a servant leader, one who cultivates, develops, and maintains relationships with grace and grit in order to create, enhance, and promote services and programs that transform lives. On a personal level, her calling (not a career) allows her to give back some of what has so graciously been given to her family. She proudly serves as the Director of Family Support and Community Engagement at Achieving True Self, supporting families across the Northeastern U.S. Living with her in that “boring” (ok, it’s not actually boring) town and very much not boring household are Mama Betty, Christian, and their pets Callie, Cookie, Candie, Hannah, Maddie, and Raven the Cats — yes six cats — and the one and only Abby Dog.