Sarah Gochenaur (sounds like go-ken-our) arrived in the DC-area in 2014 with $200 in her pocket and two suitcases. The oldest of four kids from Long Island, Sarah, NEW’s new Director of Development and Communications, moved in with her boyfriend, now husband, and started looking for a job.
“Any job under the sun, I have probably done it,” she says: tax preparer, volunteer program associate, corporate partnership developer, outdoor education professional. But when she started working for AmeriCorps, she discovered her love for nonprofits.
“I feel like I have a responsibility to make the world a better place so nonprofits have provided this beautiful avenue to do that,” she says. “Working with nonprofits gives me faith in humanity and it’s easy to see that people are more beautiful, thoughtful and wonderful than you ever thought before.”
Sarah started working in development in 2017 at Capital Area Food Bank where she realized she was good at developing relationships with potential corporate partners. She came to NEW from Muslim Advocates where she was Development Officer. She was drawn to NEW and it’s mission, especially with its focus on women. “Women are really the backbone of families and entire communities. They really are the crux of society. If we fail them, if we don’t take care of them to help them get up again, we risk whole communities suffering. It just makes sense to be concerned about women, housing and stability.”
Sarah started working at NEW in May and while the pandemic has made it a strange time to start a new job, Sarah says that everyone at NEW has been welcoming and that she has already been inspired by the work.
“If I had to show someone a nonprofit that gave me faith in the world, it would be NEW,” Sarah says. “Seeing the staff go above and beyond, knowing that the support from donors hasn’t stopped with COVID, everyone understands that our work keeps going even in the face of a global pandemic. It’s inspiring.”