The Concern Leadership Network (CLN) is a community of motivated leaders, advocates, and influencers who are bringing about positive and lasting change to families living in extreme poverty around the world. Our members are creative, caring, and inspiring individuals who help Concern increase awareness and raise funds. Today, meet long-time Concern supporter and former #TeamConcern marathon runner, Kristina Varade.
What is your current profession?
I am an Associate Professor of Italian at BMCC, CUNY. My responsibilities are teaching Italian at the beginner and intermediate levels. My research activity focuses on Irish literature (strange for an Italian professor, I know!) and comparative Irish/Italian Studies.
What’s your cause? What is it that prompts you to make a difference?
Many of my students represent countries from across the globe, and oftentimes, they silently struggle with poverty and marginalization, both in their home and adopted countries. It is important for me to better understand where they are coming from, and Concern’s work around the world helps me to better attain this knowledge.
When did you learn about Concern? How did you get involved?
I joined Concern’s NYC Marathon Team in 2013. At first, my motivation wasn’t particularly noble — I was looking for a marathon team to support that didn’t have a fundraising minimum of $10,000, as some charities did. From that point on, the good work that Concern does, along with the warm, distinctly Irish hospitality of Concern’s NYC-based office kept me coming back for more. I loved the volunteer opportunities that Concern offers, including prepping for the Winter Ball, forming an NYU-based team for the Concern Spring Run, writing thank-you notes, etc. These are all very manageable activities that make me feel as though I am actively contributing not only dollars, but my own personal “concern” as well.
Why did you join the Concern Leadership Network?
The Leadership Network allows me to play a more active role in promoting Concern’s work without becoming an all-consuming activity. I am enthusiastic to welcome new
members to the Concern family, and I like to stress that the organization welcomes members from all disciplines and backgrounds, not just business or philanthropy. As an Italian professor focusing on Irish literature and working with Concern’s Leadership Network, I’m a pretty good example!
What are your goals within, or for, the CLN?
My goal is to continue to promote Concern on a widespread level. I would love to see more volunteers from disciplines outside of business. It would be great to recruit more doctors and lawyers, people who would identify very closely with Concern’s work.
Are you working on any CLN projects right now?
I hope to become more involved with the September Concern Leadership Summit, as well as to continue to recruit new members for events such as the Winter Ball and the Spring Run.
Learn more about the Concern Leadership Network and how to join.