A smiling woman with a white shirt and long hair in a field of wheat

Cara Paolicelli

Development Coordinator

Cara Paolicelli, the development coordinator at DRNC since November 2023, brings a wealth of experience and passion to her role. Focused on DRNC’s fundraising campaigns, donor engagement and DRNC events, Cara’s objective is to personalize interactions, ensuring donors and funders feel appreciated and valued.

With a bachelor’s degree in recreation therapy from UNCW and a master’s in applied developmental psychology from The University of Pittsburgh, Cara began her career as a job coach and direct support staff in the disability field, fostering a deep commitment to advocacy, particularly in employment rights. Following her undergraduate degree, she embarked on an AmeriCorps service year in Pittsburgh which lead to continued employment with The Friendship Circle of Pittsburgh for five years. There, she played a pivotal role in the opening of Bunny Bakes, a fully inclusive café staffed by individuals with and without disabilities.

Now back in her home state, Cara is excited to immerse herself in North Carolina’s landscape, actively contributing to advancing and defending the rights of people with disabilities statewide. Her “why” is clear – fighting for disability rights is her purpose, shaping both her personal and professional identity. A music enthusiast who played the flute for 11 years, Cara has returned to NC with Marni, a chihuahua-corgi mix rescued on Halloween, named after the main character in Halloweentown.

Disability Rights NC

About Us

Disability Rights North Carolina is a legal advocacy organization that fights for the rights of people with disabilities in North Carolina.

What is a P&A?

After Willowbrook, congress made sure that every state has a Protective and Advocacy agency. DRNC is the federally mandated...

Our Team

All staff currently working for Disability Rights North Carolina, listed in alphabetical order, including titles and background info...

Board of Directors

DRNC’s Board of Directors is a diverse group of individuals who are passionate about the rights of people with disabilities. All or...

PAIMI Advisory Council

In 1986, Congress took significant action to stop abuse, neglect, and other rights violations against people with mental health disabil...


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