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YPWA Member Spotlight May 2024





Are you ready to go out with a bang? The YPWA Season ends in May, but we have two events lined up this month, so expect more opportunities for growth and connection this month as we wrap up our 2023-2024 year together.


We are excited to introduce to you another one of our YPWA board members, Samantha Carr. Outside of the YPWA, Sam is Program Manager of the Center for Women Enterprise’s Central and Western Massachusetts office. We are grateful to Sam for her contributions to our board this year as Membership Director, and we are wishing her well as she embarks on her motherhood journey with her first born due this month!


Member Details


Name: Samantha Carr

Pronouns (or preferred name): She/Her

Hometown: Somersworth, New Hampshire

When did you move to the Worcester area: 2017

A fun fact about yourself: I’m currently expecting our first baby in May!


What inspired you to join YPWA this season: Last year I was looking to enhance my own professional development and make more meaningful connections. I had tried other groups and never felt any alignment. I saw a few of my close connections posting about YPWA and it’s events and decided to give it a shot. I’ve loved every event I have been able to make it to, because it never feels like a stuffy networking event, it feels like a fun, energetic and welcoming space I’m excited to come into. If you think you hate

networking events (like I did!) you just haven’t found the right group yet!


Favorite YPWA event you’ve attended: My favorite YPWA event was our mini-headshot event we did in collaboration with previous YPWA President, Catrina Gardner. We hosted the event at Nu Kitchen and were able to enjoy some delicious food and drinks all while getting updated headshots with the beautiful backdrop of the space. These are the first headshots I have loved of myself and I am so grateful!


Local Recommendations/ Favorite Hot Spots


Favorite place to grab a coffee/tea: I have the best work schedule – working 4 days a week – so I always try to take full advantage of my Monday’s off. Oftentimes that means Mondays are my errands day, but other times it means I’m finding time to meet up with friends and one of my favorite spaces to do just that is BirchTree Bread Company. I love all their food options and their maple lattes are my absolute favorite to sip on while catching up with friends. It’s also in great proximity to great shops like Crompton Collective, Seed to Stem, and Bedlam Books!


Favorite Comfort Food Spot: My husband and I recently went out for a friend’s birthday dinner at Via Italian Table and it was the best Italian food I’ve had here in the city by miles. The atmosphere was so classy and literally every food that came out was insanely good. That was my first time since moving to the area in 2017, and now it’s my mission to make sure no else waits that long to try this place!


Favorite Co-Working Space: I’m the Program Manager for the Center for Women & Enterprise. We recently moved our office from Westborough to Worcester and we could not be more excited. We are located in a coworking space and have been loving being able to open our doors to our clients and the community alike.


Tell us about your work in the world. What do you do?


Occupation: Program Manager for the Center for Women & Enterprise


Do you have goals you'd like to share? As my husband and I welcome our first baby in May, I'm both excited and terrified as I will need to work out what my work/life boundaries and schedule will look like. My goal for the coming year is to enjoy my maternity leave this summer with our little one and give myself grace as I figure out what our new normal will look like this fall when I head back to work. I’ve loved being able to hear from working parents on how they have handled the transition and would love to hear from any folks who have gone through the same!


What’s a challenging part of your job? Here at the Center for Women and Enterprise we cover a larger territory of Central and Western Massachusetts. Folks often think that we much have so many staff to be able to offer the number of programs and supports we do, but in reality we only have 2 fulltime staff – myself and our Director, Racquel Knight. I always think about how much more we could do with just one more person on our team, but it does force us to prioritize what we know our clients need and work within

our limited amounts of time and resources. And I will say – we do one heck of a

job!


What’s your favorite tip that makes work life easier for you? When the pandemic hit and I was working from home for the first time ever my work/life boundaries became so muddled. Our clients were all small businesses calling with a desperate need for resources and supports and I found myself working late, not taking a lunch break and burning myself out. Over time I realized if I wanted to sustain myself, I needed to get back to creating some work/life boundaries. Now I am strict about when I start/stop my work day; I block time everyday to ensure I take a lunch break; and never will I ever open my work emails when I am not working.


How would a co-worker OR client describe you in three words? I’ve been told I’m very communicative and detail-oriented (like the true Virgo I am!) and that I’m a warm and welcoming person – which is also nice to hear. I’ve been told I’m real – meaning that I say what I feel – even when it may go against the majority. I’ve realized life is too short to not say and express how you feel and what you really think.


Finding your path, personally and professionally


What are you most looking forward to as you transition into motherhood?

Right now I just cannot wait to finally meet the little person I’ve been carrying with

me the past 8 months! I always knew from the time that I was little that I wanted

to be a mom and I cannot wait to build my relationship with our child and create

memories that we’ll both cherish. We’re waiting to find out if it’s a boy or girl until

they are born and the amount of excitement in just knowing if we’ll have a son or

daughter is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. I would also be lying if I said I

wasn’t totally ecstatic to have the whole summer off with our baby!


What has shaped your decision to either make your career work around motherhood, or make your motherhood journey adapt to your work life? Over the past few years so many of my colleagues have become parents and it really has been a blessing to watch and learn how they have handles the transition. The fact that my job is now mostly remote has offered an additional layer of flexibility that makes me feel more confident in being able to balance both work and home life and do it well. I’ve had raw and honest conversations with colleagues and my managers to ensure that I am able to flex my schedule in a way that will allow me to prioritize being there for my child while also still be able to do my job and do it well. I know this transition may not go exactly as I

planned, and I’m grateful that my colleagues have already given me the grace in

knowing that likely these plans will change and we will simply adapt as needed.


What supports are you looking forward to enlisting in order to ensure a smooth transition into this next phase of your life? My husband and I are so lucky to be able to have a whole community who is here and ready to support us as we welcome our first baby. My mom is retired and has already graciously offered to help us with childcare, which is a blessing I know so many working parents are not afforded. The fact that I work for a women’s empowerment organization is also not lost on me – I don’t have a fear that me needing new accommodations to support my growing family will hinder

my career growth, which again, is a privilege that is not lost on me. I have such a

supportive family and workplace to welcome our new child to, and it’s making an

uncertain transition feel a lot less scary.


If you'd like to connect with Sam, you can find her on LinkedIn:



Thank you so much, Sam! We've got several spots to feature our members for the 24-25 season. If you'd like to nominate yourself or a friend for the member spotlight, you can do so here. We thank all our outstanding members that have shared their experiences, tips, and love of the Worcester area with us this season!


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