Cara 5Q with Gabriel
Get to know the newest members of the Cara Staff in 5 questions.
Individual Giving Manager
Tell us about where you worked or what you studied before coming to Cara.
I spent the last two years in Central Indiana, commuting between Bloomington and Indianapolis. After several years working in nonprofit program development, I was eager to grow my toolkit and practice mission-driven fundraising. I completed graduate programs in Nonprofit Management and Philanthropic Studies through Indiana University and served as the Development Fellow for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana (BBBSCI). My work in the classroom and for BBBSCI prepared me well for my job here at Cara, and I am excited to keep growing with our awesome team!
Why are you excited to join the Cara family?
I believe strongly in Cara’s mission and vision. What started in the back of Mr. Owens’ car has become a well-oiled machine of talented participants, staff and partners with shared goals and mutual accountability. Everyone here has something to teach, and all of us in the Cara community benefit when learning from one another. During my interview process, I was attracted to the incredible passion and diverse skillsets of my development colleagues. I feel great joy coming into the office and collaborating with such a kind, conscientious and hard-working group of people.
Tell us about when you went in the Motivations circle for the first time. What was the question and how did you answer?
A few days before my final interview, I was having coffee with a friend who is involved in Cara. She told me about Motivations and that I should try and attend while I was in town. I reached out to the then-HR Manager to see if I could pull off a visit on short notice. I was told I could attend the next day but that I would have to go in the circle. I nervously practiced the cadence of Motivations overnight, having no idea what the response would be. I even prepared a few notes but was told those would not be allowed in the circle with me. After a deep breath, I entered and answered the question, “Who or what gives you great joy, and why?” I told the story of my brother who had recently gotten approved for his PhD research after much uncertainty. His happiness gave me great joy. I finished my time in the circle by singing Hakuna Matata on the eve of the new Lion King movie, and it was more fun as most people in the room sang along!
What is the best experience you have ever had?
Every summer growing up, my extended family used to spend a week together in Traverse City, Michigan. For such a small town, Traverse City has a magical quality to it. Each trip was filled with similar meals, activities, rituals and routines. I honestly would have a hard time pulling the individual trips apart, as the memories of my grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, brother and cousins all have formed a collective narrative. The nostalgia is palpable and stitched the fabric of our family’s continued bonds to this day.
What’s left on your bucket list?
I am a diehard baseball fan and really appreciate the uniqueness of each stadium and its fan base. I have been to 20 out of 30 Major League Baseball parks and am hoping to hit the other 10 within the next 5-10 years. Attending a game in a new city is an excuse to explore the surrounding area, sampling local cuisine and meeting cool people in a new part of the country.
Ready to join the best and brightest in social purpose? Check out the Cara Careers page for opportunities to join our team.