Meet Cara, the newest member of the Youth Programs team here at the NAC! Cara will be taking over the role of Youth Programs Director, which includes overseeing the gymnastics, KidFit, Kids Club and Academy of Dance programs. Cara will report to Amanda Brown, Executive Youth Director at the NAC. Cara comes to the NAC with a ton of experience and we are excited for all of our members to get to know her. Find out a little more about Cara below:
"Throughout my career, I have always worked with children and youth. I began as a babysitter, then moved into daycare and nannying through college. I attended BCCC for my first two years, receiving my AA in elementary education. From there I went to Temple University and received my BA in AOD (Adult and Organizational Development) under the umbrella of education. While at Temple, I also had the pleasure of interning throughout the department in teambuilding, creating & carrying out the activities including high ropes courses, mediation, conflict resolution, and effective communication. I also volunteered for 2 organizations, the K.I.C.K.S. project, which was a youth sports-based grass roots non-profit that traveled to many countries and local schools building teams on the foundation we all have a common ground regardless of language barriers. The second was Project Small talk, which connected people through common illnesses, injury, loss, or any life changing stigma where they could speak and connect with others who also struggled from similar situations. From there, still working with K.I.C.K.S., I moved on to my MA at Holy Family University, where I studied Special Education.
"My experience in sports and training started in middle school for me. I was quite a tomboy growing up and quickly wanted to be involved in any activity my mother would allow. Although I did dance for about 10 years in ballet, tap, and lyrical, I can also bat lefty and righty, rode BMX, had a skateboard and ran track hurdles, 50 yd dash, relay and was a successful high jumper. It was all very fun, now... I wouldn't attempt half of that.
"Prior to coming on board at the NAC, I most recently had a long term sub position with Pennsbury School District in their transition program for students with special needs. From 2014 to 2016 I was the Director of Optimal Sport here in Newtown, where I oversaw all sales and operations. I was also the assistant general manager and fitness director of a gym in Ewing, NJ. In the years leading to that, besides non-profit and child care, I worked as a financial aid officer, student advisor for a trade school, and managed several franchise salons for about 10 years. Yes, it sounds like a lot, but I like to be busy because I believe it keeps you alive and growing.
"How I came in to the position with the NAC was all in timing. A coworker at Pennsbury had known my temp position was ending and in conversation suggested I look at the job postings. That day as I viewed the postings for opportunity I noticed the most perfect opportunity. I feel that in the Director of Youth Programs position I can apply pretty much all of my experiences and education. The outline had me excited so much that I was immediately thinking of things I could possibly do to build the youth program. Fitness is important to everyone, it’s a lifestyle for many of us, but for children they are the most important because they are our future. The NAC is terrific and allows many ways for our youth to get involved. My hope is that our youth team can create a sound structure with new and growing lessons to keep our youth interested and excited for each week to come. With that, I would like to create a program that is building the children to excel in the next stage of their life. One thing that I would love to implement is team building skills for our older kids and even perhaps our staff for training or on a higher level have corporate teams come to us for fun team building events. After my first week I see that there are many moving parts in the youth programs department, but I hope to keep it ever growing and be a place that is a second home for our youth community."
Get to Know Cara!
1. What is your proudest accomplishment?
With all of that, my biggest accomplishment would be my son. Shawn is a fun, loving, kind-hearted handsome boy. Being a mother has helped me to remember why I should appreciate the small things in life, slow down and enjoy the moment, and finally has given me my greatest love. I couldn't have found a better purpose if I were to search my entire life; he stole my heart from day one.
2. Which animal best describes your personality?
According to Facebook (which is obviously very credible) my personality can be described as an owl/cheetah. I am wise, yet fast. I make slow wise decisions, but follow them down with utmost ferocity.
3. What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Outside of work I enjoy being with family, day trips, travel, and being creative.
4. What is your favorite game?