By Antonio Caro, NCLR Fundraising Consultant
A very young Antonio with his mother. Photo: Antonio Caro.
I remember mornings in the Caro home. The rhythm of Joe Arroyo’s claves, accompanied by the clash of pots and pans and the scuffling sound of my mother’s chancletas clacking to the rhythm of the music. It was in this busy mashup of cultura where Latino cultural awareness, pride, and advocacy began coursing through my veins. More importantly, it was in this home I saw my mother work to create a brighter future for my siblings and me. Home is the source of my passion and where I fuel my excitement to walk through the doors of NCLR.
As a first-generation Colombian-American, I grew up in a low-income household led by a single-mother in Silver Spring, Md. When I was young, my greatest fear was that someday my mother would buckle under the pressure of the stress of raising three kids, juggling three jobs, and taking care of the family’s finances. However, my siblings and I witnessed her combat obstacle after obstacle.
Whether it was workplace discrimination, bankruptcy, racial profiling, or anxiety, my mother managed to overcome every pitfall. Her success was a result of a lot of elbow grease paired with the help from NCLR Affiliates like Mary’s Center. With their assistance, my mother received the support she needed to put me and my siblings through college.
Antonio at NCLR Headquarters in Washington.
My mother’s love and perseverance still ignites my passion for promoting human dignity and advocating for the voiceless. This passion led to my involvement with the Hispanic Cultural Association, which I led as president at my alma mater, Mount St. Mary’s University. It eventually helped me get to NCLR.
At NCLR I’m the one who is able to spark passion. Here, I support the community-based organizations that help families like my own. I can advocate for the voiceless. I can inspire others to support the Latino community—just like my mom did for me.
I am honored to represent an organization that impacts the lives of millions of families nationwide—families like mine, dreaming and fighting for a brighter future.
Antonio Caro is a fundraising consultant with NCLR. Under his guidance, NCLR is helping connect donors to the issues and causes they care the most about. Join him today by becoming an NCLR Amigo. Visit www.nclr.org/donate.