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Graphic: Maybeth Peralta/AL DÍA News.
Graphic: Maybeth Peralta/AL DÍA News.

2021 AL DÍA 40 Under Forty Honoree: Thais Carrero

At the upcoming AL DÍA 40 Under Forty event on Aug. 27, Thais Carrero will be one of the 40 honorees.

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The second annual AL DÍA 40 Under Forty event will serve to highlight and showcase some of the most diverse and impactful young professionals across the Philadelphia region.

At the event, taking place on August 27, 2021, Thais Carrero will be one of the 40 honorees. Currently, she is the Pennsylvania State Director at CASA.

Biography

Thaís Carrero, MPPA, is a native Puerto Rican who has lived in York, Pennsylvania since 2016. Her career in government communications in Puerto Rico and Pennsylvania, and her commitment to a community centered approach have led her to many opportunities and leadership roles in Pennsylvania and at the national level. She was appointed by Governor Tom Wolf to serve on the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs, currently serves on the board of directors of the Cultural Alliance of York County, and WITF, Inc., regional affiliate of NPR, and is a volunteer for multiple nonprofit organizations in Pennsylvania. She is the recipient of the Junior League of York’s 2019 Catalyst Award and the Central Penn Business Journal's 2021 40 Under 40 Award. 

Carrero oversaw one of the largest latino civic engagement programs in Pennsylvania for the 2020 election cycle, building on years of base work through different issue-based advocacy campaigns, and along elected and appointed officials at all levels and from across the state, has developed a strong Latino legislative and executive agenda at the local and state levels, bringing to the forefront the issues affecting the Latino community in Pennsylvania and across the region, and developing comprehensive policy solutions that will not only solve the issues at hand, but also put people on a path to prosperity, so they can live life to their full potential. In addition, Carrero oversees CASA's service delivery: naturalization and legal services, workforce development, education and social services programming. 

Here are Thais Carrero's responses: 

1. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your professional career? 

The biggest challege of my career so far has been taking on my leadership role as CASA Pennsylvania Director. As a young Latina, navigating the progressive civic engagement industry, which is predominantly white, male and older meant that I had to work double or triple to "prove" that I was worth it. In the last few years, however, our community has demonstrated that we only need to seek the validation and affirmation of the folks that truly care and believe in us, and that we are powerful agents of change by just existing. If we're not at the table, we no longer bring our chair. We now build our own table.

2. What steps can be taken to improve diversity, equity and inclusion in your industry? Why is it important to do so? 

Equity and inclusion are key to any initiative whether you work in the private, public or non-profit sector. Having diverse perspectives and voices at the table ensures that we're not prescribing our communities with solutions, but that we develop solutions collectively to have a real opportunity to create change for ALL to thrive. This is especially true in the advocacy and civic engagement world. We're no longer the voice for the voiceless, our job is to amplify the voices that have been intentionally ignored for decades.

3. What does being a leader mean to you? 

First and foremost, it's important to point out that for me the designation of someone as a leader should come from a place of care, empathy, understanding and trust among those who you lead. Being a leader means being an example. It means being present to give direction during good and not-so-good times, but also helping each other grow by believing in their capacity to build amazing things.

4. Where do you see yourself in five years? 

In five years, I see myself elevating my civic engagement and advocacy work to the national level. Helping build power in Latino, immigrant and working-class communities across the nations.

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