Darlene’s drive to make positive change in the lives of vulnerable people (both human & animal) first led her to start volunteering with Chicago rescues in 2012. Since completing her M.S. in International Public Service at DePaul University in 2015, she has worked with nonprofit organizations focused on issues like youth homelessness, type 1 diabetes research, and community-based healthcare. After volunteering at several Community Pet Days, the Parvo Prevention Project, and CACC, Darlene recognized the huge shortage of veterinary, educational, and financial resources in Chicago’s historically underserved communities. As Community Engagement Manager, Darlene helps OTAT bring culturally competent, innovative, life-saving programming to Chicago’s homeless pets and communities in need of better access to high-quality, affordable veterinary care and compassionate pet owner support. Outside of OTAT, Darlene loves spending time with her own two dogs, Sen & Lindy, volunteering with other local organizations, and growing a nonprofit she co-founded dedicated to expanding financial literacy skills.