Tesla STEM’s Raggi enjoys math and helping others

For a while, whenever she was bored, Cat Raggi would write numbers in a notebook — specifically, multiples of seven.

For a while, whenever she was bored, Cat Raggi would write numbers in a notebook — specifically, multiples of seven.

This went on for some time, though the Tesla STEM High School graduating senior won’t admit to how long.

“I filled up an entire notebook,” she said. “Let’s just say that.”

Math and numbers are something that Raggi, a Sammamish resident, has always been good at and enjoyed passively. It wasn’t until her sophomore year when her father bought her “How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking” by Jordan Ellenberg, a book about why people love math, that she saw math as a viable career.

She had previously considered going into biology but quickly realized she didn’t like biology. Now Raggi said she plans to study math — maybe applied math or statistics — when she attends the University of Chicago next year. She is also considering double majoring in economics or philosophy.

In terms of a career, Raggi said she has an interest in being a math teacher but also realized that she wants to help others. So with this, she is also considering doing financial work for a nonprofit. Outside of the math world, another career Raggi has been considering is law. She said would be interested in becoming a civil rights attorney, public defender or environmental lawyer.

Outside of her academic life, Raggi has been part of the Sammamish Gavel Club, the youth program through Toastmasters of Sammamish. She said through this club, she has improved her public speaking skills, something she hated when she was younger as she had a stutter and was not good at talking with and in front of others. Raggi’s stutter went away as she got older and she credits her involvement in Gavel Club, which she joined as a freshman, as being part of that as it taught her how to communicate when she has important points she wants to get across to others.

In addition, Raggi enjoys volunteering and spends a lot of time at Redmond-based Hopelink, helping at the organization’s food bank. She also volunteers at Providence Marianwood, a nursing home in Issaquah.

When Raggi leaves for college in the fall, she said she is looking forward to some of the unusual traditions her first-choice university has such as Scav Hunt, an annual scavenger hunt that requires participants to perform unusual tasks. She is also looking forward to the independence that comes with living on her own.

“It’ll be weird,” Raggi said. “But I think it’ll be an exciting kind of weird.”

While she is excited for what is to come, Raggi said she will miss her teachers when she leaves STEM and plans to come back and visit during school breaks.

STEM’s commencement ceremony is tonight at 7 p.m. at Timberlake Church, 4505 236th Ave. N.E. near Redmond.