Kate Scowen’s interest in youth and youth culture developed while she was attending Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. During this time, she volunteered at a local community center as a counselor for high-risk youth. The strong connection she made with one girl in particular sparked her interest in the lives of these kids; what made them who they were, where they were going and how they might get there.
Before she left for London, England to pursue her graduate degree, Kate got her first “real” job working as a counselor in a group home. This experience opened her eyes to the realities of the lives of the kids sent there and how their life experiences played out in the world around them. Kate left Peterborough to study Social Policy and Planning at the London School of Economics, which turned out to be a unique opportunity to dig deeper into the world of youth culture. Kate spent her free time that year volunteering with youth-based organizations and interviewing youth and program staff for her dissertation on contemporary youth culture.
After graduating, Kate moved to Toronto where she got a job working in a residential program of the Children’s Aid Society. Following that, Kate worked with high-risk youth in a community-based program in Toronto’s Kensington Market for more than seven years. In 1998, Kate decided to spend more time at home with her three daughters and began working as a consultant. She remains immersed in youth culture through her volunteer work, her writing and through the lives of her children and their many friends who drift in and out of her house and are a constant source of amusement, frustration, and inspiration.