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Spotlight! Cynthia Saucedo (Leadership Institute Edition)

Name: Cynthia Saucedo

Preferred Pronouns: She/Her

Job title: Director

Organization: Lumity

Time in current role: 8 months

College/School: DePaul University

Area of study/expertise: Secondary Education in Visual Arts

What do you like most about working in the nonprofit sector? What I like most about working in the non-profit sector is knowing that the work I do today is more than just meeting a company’s bottom line. I love that what I do is meaningful, passionate, and most importantly creating growth and change in our society. I also have met some of the most interesting people in the non-profit sector which have become great partners in my personal network in addition to making some of the best life long friendships.

Additional information you would like to highlight: Prior to my current role, I was working in a corporate job. I realized during that time which also happened to be during the thick of Covid, that what I do for a living should truly align with my personal and professional goals. I realized I wasn’t passionate about the work that I was doing at that time, and this was ultimately my AHA! Moment which led me back to the non-profit sector.

What drew you to the Leadership Institute? What drew me to join the Leadership Institute was my Executive Director, she shared that YNPN was going to start a new cohort and knowing that I was venturing back into non-profit and a leadership role, I knew that I was definitely going to need a strong support system to make it through my first year. Leadership is always evolving and can be really challenging at times, knowing that I would have a new network of people with unbiased perspectives really drew me to the opportunity. I can say that my experience so far has been amazing, I am learning and reflecting a lot on my leadership style but also finding ways to improve myself on a personal level as well.

Personal mantra? “Fear is not real. The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not at present and may not ever exist. That is near insanity. Do not misunderstand me danger is very real but fear is a choice.” – Will Smith

What advice would you give to people joining the nonprofit sector? For people who are interested in joining the non-profit sector I would advise that it’s an amazing sector to be a part of, it’s rewarding, and you feel good knowing that your work is creating positive change in people’s lives. What I will also say, is that non-profit work is not for everyone, working in this sector you must be VERY open to change and comfortable with adjusting and pivoting on the fly to meet the needs of your organization. In my experience, most people in non-profit wear many hats in their day-to-day roles, but that’s what makes the work so fun and interesting, everyday is a different day!

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be? Oh man, this is a great question! If I could be in school the rest of my life and not ever have to worry about student loan debt, I would learn about everything under the sun. But for the sake of this question, I’ll narrow it down: I really want to learn how to play piano. In my lifetime I have a goal to one day play Debussy’s - Clair DeLune, it’s one of the prettiest songs ever.

What's your go-to karaoke song? I am an awful singer and do no justice singing any song, but my go to song is always Selena (the original, not Selena Gomez) – Como La Flor

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself. The most interesting fact about me that most people are completely thrown off by, is that I am an identical twin. My twin and I look and sound pretty much exactly the same. People are always wowed by twins, I mean I get it, there’s no real understanding but only theories as to why identical twins happen. I like knowing that I exist in a way that non-twin people don't exist. We also have twin powers, read up on it, it’s a thing.

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