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.