Conklin Centers Ocasio honored as one of 2017's '40 Under 40'

The Daytona Beach News-Journal's Volusia/Flagler Business Report celebrated "40 Under 40," 40 outstanding young professionals in Volusia and Flagler counties who were selected because of their achievements both professionally as well as volunteers in efforts to make the community a better place to live and work.

Congratulations to our Development Coordinator Ciara Ocasio for being honored as one of the "40 Under 40"!

Story by Clayton Park

"NAME: Ciara Ocasio

AGE: 24

OCCUPATION: Development coordinator, Conklin Center for the Blind, Daytona Beach

PAST JOBS: Prior to starting her job in June 2016, Ocasio worked three years for the University of Central Florida-Daytona Beach campus, where she held several positions including computer specialist for the technology center.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Co-founder of Art in the Alley in downtown Daytona Beach. Involvement included making a pitch for the concept at City Hall and helping to secure the necessary permits to hold the “pop-up art” event in July of last year, with another one possibly in the works; currently serves on the BAYS Florida Advisory Council for the Seventh Judicial Circuit Court, a program to help at-risk youths in the area that includes Flagler and Volusia counties. She also was part of the “Fresh Ninja” team that won the Startup Weekend competition in November. She continues to be involved in that team, which is seeking to create a fast-food drivethrough service that can provide healthy vegetarian and vegan options for people on the go.

WHAT MAKES HER TICK:

“What motivates me is the understanding that you only get out of life what you put into it,” says Ocasio. “If you want to see positive change in your community then you have to make yourself a part of it. Remarkable things are possible when you make quality

of life —for yourself and others— a top priority.”

OTHER INFORMATION:

Ocasio graduated from the University of Central Florida with a bachelor of science degree in photographic technology. She moved to Daytona Beach from Kissimmee in 2010 to attend college.

FUN FACT: Ocasio is currently learning Italian so she can “successfully introduce myself and ask for a glass of wine.”

WHAT OTHERS SAY:

“(Ocasio is) extraordinarily passionate, determined and thoughtful,” says Claire Brubaker of Stewart-Marchman- Act Behavioral Healthcare. “She is creative, innovative, and is an ideal team player.

She's always looking for ways to help in the community, while creating outreach. She prides herself in providing inclusion opportunities.”