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Helping Cultures Survive and Children Thrive

Amma Gatty’s beliefs lie at the core of her engagement with youth as the Founder and Executive Director of Culture Encounters. Her journey began with an unwavering conviction that every child possesses the potential to achieve remarkable feats. This potential, however, must be complemented by the provision of adequate resources and the right tools to navigate their path. This commitment led Gatty to attain a Graduate Certificate in Family Life Education and Coaching in May 2022.

In her role as an executive director, Gatty assumes the responsibility of charting the strategic course of the organization and implementing initiatives that foster cultural awareness and appreciation. Gatty adeptly manages a dedicated team of volunteers and collaborates with partners to create an environment of collective effort aimed at achieving shared objectives. She also places a strong emphasis on cultivating and nurturing crucial relationships with stakeholders, community leaders, and various organizations.

Moreover, Gatty’s role as a Family Life Educator and Coach is pivotal, as she offers invaluable support and guidance to individuals and families navigating through unique challenges, particularly migrant families adapting to life in a foreign culture. Drawing on her knowledge, empathy, and cultural sensitivity, Gatty creates a secure space for families to share their experiences and seek guidance.

When inquired about her chosen path, Gatty states it is because ”our world is becoming increasingly borderless, yet regrettably, polarized, and the fabric of society is weakening.” As an immigrant parent herself, Gatty is acutely aware of this decline and perceives the urgency for families to become stronger units. Acknowledging the specific needs of her immigrant community, Gatty recognizes the vital requirement of empowering families with the essential tools to navigate the complexities of parenting within a Western cultural context. Her determination is centered on utilizing her platform to shape and influence the next generation, fostering greater acceptance and appreciation for individuals from diverse backgrounds.

Gatty with participants of Culture Encounters

For Gatty, coming to NC State has been a life-changing experience, shaping her education, personal growth, and entrepreneurial aspirations.  While initially considering a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy, Gatty discovered the graduate certificate program in Family Life Education and Coaching, which aligned seamlessly with her career objectives. Joining the Family Life Coaching Association and the National Parent Education Network through her studies at NC State has been instrumental in her professional journey, offering unwavering support and networking prospects. Gatty reflects, “My time at NC State has been a catalyst for transformation, steering my academic and professional trajectory toward a gratifying and purposeful future. The program’s commitment to excellence has equipped me with the requisite skills for success, and I am immensely grateful for the enriching experiences and opportunities it has afforded me.”

Of the many professors and instructors in Gatty’s department, Autumn Guin has been most impactful on her life and career. “As a working adult and a student, I could see myself in Dr. Guin, who at that time, had also recently completed her studies. Her kind and personable nature made me feel truly seen and heard, and she went beyond merely teaching; she imparted wisdom and knowledge that resonated deeply with me.” A pivotal moment for Gatty was her introduction to the book “Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work” during Guin’s class, which significantly influenced her own marriage and motivated her to undertake a course with the Gottman Institute. Now trained to teach these principles to couples, Gatty’s dedication to her work is clearly driven by her passion and the transformative impact it has on others. “My goal is to empower individuals to thrive, regardless of where they find themselves in this interconnected world.”

Gatty teaching based on the Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work book

To do good work, you must enjoy what you do. For Gatty, the alignment of her career with her personal inspiration is an extraordinary stroke of luck. She draws inspiration from her biological children and the youth she serves, recognizing that they are growing up in a world vastly different from her own generation’s experiences. Their resilience fuels her commitment to guide and support them, while simultaneously providing resources to their parents to enable thriving in an ever-evolving world.

Looking ahead, Gatty’s primary focus revolves around advancing Culture Encounters, expanding the organization’s reach and influence in championing cultural awareness and appreciation. Additionally, she plans to extend her impact through her YouTube channel, “Parenting in a Foreign Culture,” targeting assistance to migrant families. She aspires to develop a comprehensive parent education program, with the ultimate goal of furnishing migrant families with valuable resources and support for navigating their lives within a new cultural landscape. Through these endeavors, Gatty is dedicated to creating a positive and enduring impact on the lives of individuals and communities, fostering mutual understanding and unity in an increasingly diverse global panorama.

Gatty’s mission centers on promoting cultural awareness and appreciation, guiding migrant families in navigating the challenges of parenting within a foreign culture, and empowering families through education to foster healthier dynamics. Her goal is to inspire individuals to embrace their cultural identities and advocate for diversity, with the overarching objective of effecting lasting change and contributing to a more compassionate society. Across all her roles, Gatty’s passion for cultural awareness and family empowerment shines brilliantly, as she is resolutely committed to enacting a positive transformation in the lives of individuals and communities. Her dedication to promoting understanding and appreciation for diverse cultures serves as an inspiring force and catalyst for constructive change.