Linking Neighbors Through Integration and Cultural Training

Carola Bracco-Neighbors Link- 10th_anniversary

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Giving Back

Although the transition from private sector to public service was initially a bit daunting, Bracco, who considers herself a Latina even though she was born in the U.S., made the most of it, learning that her prior experience in financial management with General Electric Corporation, Ford Motor Company and Time Warner, Inc., was in fact a blessing.

            “I assumed that you needed to have nonprofit experience for a position such as this, so I didn’t even consider that I would be qualified. It wasn’t until later that I realized the extent to which my private sector experience had prepared me for this. It also helped considerably that I had the strong support of a very dedicated board behind me,” she recalls.

            Her family was also a large influence on her. Although she was a mere child in the 1960s, she recalls conversations her parents and elder siblings would have about social issues. (Five of her nine siblings have joined her in the not-for-profit sector.)

That her father came to the country to establish the Washington, D.C., office of the Inter-American Development Bank also certainly made an impact.

Community Minded

And now she and her husband, Andrew, who’s also in the not-for-profit sector (and speaks passable Spanish, despite his Italian heritage), are passing that down to their children, a 19-year-old son, Jason, and a 17-year-old-daughter, Alicia. Both have volunteered for Neighbors Link Northern Westchester, as do around 300 others, half of whom are high school students.

This and other experiences, according to Bracco, have made them more understanding of the world around them.

            “They are empathetic and community minded, and they understand the world a little better because they grew up in a diverse community. That was one of the reasons why my husband Andy and I moved to this area. We thought it was the kind of place we wanted to be in,” she says.

            And this decision has paid off for both her family and the people she serves, including as a trustee on the Board of Directors of Northern Westchester Hospital and as board member of Non Profit Westchester and the Emergency Shelter Partnership. Hardly one to assimilate, it’s clear Bracco’s become tightly integrated with her entire community.

For more information about Neighbors Link and its affiliates, visit neighborslinknetwork.org.

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