Congratulation to our founder and group leader, Evelyn D’Agostino, who is featured a Women to watch edition of the D&C newspaper. Here is the link: http://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/lifestyle/2016/01/24/79183288/
Here is the full interview:
Evelyn D’Agostino W2W by Sandy Sloane
From her full-time position with Xerox to being the President of a non-profit organization and being a mother of a toddler plus another baby on the way, Evelyn D’Agostino leads a very busy life.
As Xerox’s global operations continue to expand, D’Agostino’s position as International Logistics Analyst for Developing Markets Operations has grown in importance. In her role, D’Agostino is responsible for providing outsourcing solutions to multiple partners, both internal and external, throughout the Americas and the Caribbean. In 2011, D’Agostino was hired full-time by Xerox after working as a contractor and demonstrating her outstanding people skills, business acumen, and bilingual abilities.
“Xerox is a wonderful place to work. Through the Xerox Community Involvement Program, the company is very supportive of programs that give back to the community,” said D’Agostino. Being involved with corporate good citizens has always been important to her.
During college in her home country of Panama, D’Agostino volunteered for UNICEF on campaigns for women’s and children’s rights. Funded in part by corporate partners, the programs provided practical information and solutions to improve the quality of life for these underserved populations. Working with Latinos from several countries, showed her the need for worldwide reform and education. When she relocated to the US, D’Agostino saw similar needs here, prompting her to found Grupo Cultural Latinos en Rochester, an organization to address those needs using arts and creativity to teach and empower Latino families while simultaneously preserving their cultural heritage.
GCLER has been one of the recipients of Xerox’s Community Involvement Program grants. Their mission is: To promote Latin-American cultural heritage in Western NY, through educational/informative events and entertaining life performances. D’Agostino currently serves as GCLER’s president and its most dedicated volunteer.
The organization uses a multi-generational approach, encouraging parents and grandparents to participate with their children and grandchildren to create no-cost community performances. Participants are taught how to create costumes and scenery. Through these art projects they gain valuable skills, which in turn increase their self-esteem and encourage learning about their Latino culture and heritage. GCLER currently reaches 64 dancers, 27 volunteers, and several schools, colleges, and religious organizations.
Shalym Nater has known D’Agostino for 4 years and nominated her as a Woman to Watch. “Evelyn left Panama looking for a better life. Learning a new language and culture was hard but she didn’t let those challenges stop her. She’s an outgoing and charismatic woman who enjoys sharing her talents and her culture, and serving her community. GCLER is changing the lives of inner-city kids, helping them explore the enriching benefits of arts and culture. Even while pregnant, she’s always willing to help others. I’ve never known her to say no,” he said.
34, married, from Panama, lives in Fairport with her husband, their 5 year old son and a baby due in mid-February.
Bachelor’s degree in Banking and Finance, Catholic University Santa Maria La Antigua in Panama, 2003
What are you reading right now? Publications, books
I’m reading the Spanish version of The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry to my 5 year-old son.
Biggest challenge you’ve overcome and how you did it:
After my Dad died when I was 15, my view of the world changed. I realized there is no promise of tomorrow. You’re given so little time, and you never know when it will run out. So I decided to serve my community, treasure my life, and do things that make me happy because I don’t know if I will have the chance later.
Who inspires you?
I am inspired by my son’s fascination for the simple things in life, my friends’ love of their culture, and my husband’s huge heart and the dedication to his work. But my biggest inspiration is my mother who made me who I am today; someone who fights for what is right, serves the poor, respects our elders and never forgets my roots.
I want to be the best mother I can be to my soon-to-be newborn daughter and 5 year old son. I also want to complete my Master’s degree in Marketing.
For GCLER, we are currently awaiting our 501 (C)(3) status. In 2018, we plan to stage the first Latin-American FOLKLORIC dance and music show, celebrating our cultural identity with 200+ dancers of all ages representing over 20 countries.
Career advice for someone just starting out in their professional career?
Network and find a good mentor. Always have a smile on your face no matter how difficult things get.
Favorite things to do in Rochester:
Visiting the Strong Museum of Play and the Public Market and eating ice cream at the Pittsford Dairy with my family.