Grant Writing Manager
Connie Barcelo wrote her first successful grant in 2014, a mini-grant to fund the K-8 MinecraftEdu workshops she wanted to lead at Cambridge Community Center. Connie has since led the fundraising teams at two education nonprofits, Heart Math Tutoring and Charlotte Bilingual Preschool. Most recently, she served as the Grants Manager at America Needs You, a national nonprofit focused on building economic mobility for first-generation college students. In 2019, Connie received the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Diverse Communities Scholarship. In 2020, she presented on fundraising as part of the Nonprofit Essentials course at Wake Forest University Charlotte. Connie is a first-generation college graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a BFA in Art Education.
Connie was born and raised in rural North Carolina. She currently lives in an 1887 Victorian house in Charlotte, NC with her husband Richard and their daughter Winry. Outside of work, Connie enjoys old kaiju movies, live music and printmaking.
I aspire to be like Jackson Wang. Here’s why:
Before Jackson Wang became a singer and producer, he was a member of Hong Kong’s national fencing team. Both of his parents were athletes, and his father was a fencer. While Jackson was preparing for the London Olympics, he received an offer to train as a K-Pop idol with JYP, a South Korean label. Jackson turned down a fencing scholarship from Stanford University to follow his dreams at JYP with no guarantee of success.
Most K-Pop trainees never debut with a group. But Jackson did.
I want to be like Jackson Wang not just because of his strong belief in himself, but because he commits himself to really plussing it. After debuting as a member of the group Got7, he founded his own label and started a solo career where he often weaves in his Chinese identity for international audiences (see: “Pretty Please”).
Why I love my job:
I’m grateful to be with a mission-driven organization dedicated to moving the needle for all kids.
My connection to public schools:
I attended public schools my entire life, from the Title I elementary school where I made my first friend to the public university where I received my education degree. When Winry is old enough, I plan on sending her to public school too!
What I’m bad at:
Making hand rolls, burritos, jiǔcài hézi, or anything else that requires a correct ratio of filling to wrap. I’ve been doing it for years but I still ALWAYS put too much filling.
This image represents why I work at 50CAN:
This is Winry picking pears from my mother’s pear tree. Ten years ago, my mother planted a seed with the dream of one day eating as many pears as she wanted.
My mother wasn’t allowed to pursue an education. Thirty years ago, she moved to the United States with the dream that her daughter could have choices that she didn’t have. I work at 50CAN because I believe every child should have access to a high-quality education.