Welcoming Back an Old Friend
As CONCERN continues to expand our Board of Directors to have a more diverse, inclusive, and well-rounded membership, the Board welcomed January Amaro to a three-year term as of December 2019.
Ms. Amaro comes to the CONCERN Board of Directors uniquely qualified as she is a former CONCERN foster care client who is able to share intimate knowledge and insight into living within the foster care system.
Ms. Amaro’s own words best describe her background and desire to continue her relationship with CONCERN.
I was what I consider a lifer in the foster care system. I was placed into care at CONCERN at the age of three and left care when I turned 18. During these 15 years, I lived with seven different foster families, one short-term family and had a short-term stay in a group home.
While some may say growing-up this way was a hardship, I prefer to use this experience as a source of strength. I was afforded the opportunity to live with multiple parents and learn how they raised their children. Each set of parents taught me something new and provided me with what I needed during that particular stage of my life. Each family gave and brought to my life the love, guidance and assistance I needed.
In addition to these families, I had the support of the CONCERN staff. They took the time to consider what was best for me and never hesitated to recommend changes in my life when they felt it was in my best interest. These lessons are a guide I now use to raise my own children.
I would not be who I am today without having been a foster kid with CONCERN. I am a strong, successful, well adjusted, high functioning, happy adult and parent.
CONCERN to me is the village that helps to raise children. They have understood that each child is an individual who arrives under different circumstances, needing and requiring different levels of care. Taking the time to see the best in each child and do the best for them is what, I believe, sets CONCERN apart from other similar organizations.
From my own experience, I needed therapy. To this day, I remember my therapist and everything she taught me. This has helped me in so many situations as an adult and I am thankful each day that I had that available to me growing up.
I am honored and humbled to be a member of the Board. I believe my experiences as a foster child will bring a different perspective to the Board and to CONCERN. Understanding how practices, policies and services affect a child can greatly affect decision-making. While I have not been in care for 20 years, the impact it had will last my lifetime. I will strive to give back the same level of commitment and respect that was provided to me during one of the most vulnerable and influential times in my life.
Since leaving CONCERN’s care, Ms. Amaro has accumulated more than 15 years of experience and has held numerous office management and accounting positions within the property management field, most recently being employed as the Director of Accounts Receivable and Lease Administration by The Goldenberg Group in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania.
Ms. Amaro and her family currently reside in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.
Welcoming a New Friend
Continuing with the CONCERN Board of Director’s goal of expansion, inclusivity, and diversity, the Board proudly announced the appointment of Martin J. Durso, Esq. to a three-year term at the January 2020 Board meeting.
Recently retired from a nationally recognized nonprofit human services organization, Mr. Durso comes to CONCERN after a distinguished career as an attorney working in private practice and later in the human services sector. Primarily a litigator throughout much of his career, Mr. Durso took on some of the country’s largest companies litigating employment discrimination cases. In addition, he represented the interests of plaintiffs in matters rising from defective products and environmental contamination.
Later in his career, Mr. Durso turned to the nonprofit sector providing expertise on matters such as risk management, discrimination complaints, financial abuse and client mistreatment, contracting, and providing general legal advice to senior staff and Board members.
Upon retiring, Mr. Durso was pleased to accept the offer to join CONCERN’s Board of Directors, which he described as “a vibrant organization with an admirable mission, devoted staff, and talented leadership.”
CONCERN’s mission combined with his legal expertise and commitment to community, children and their families were attributes that made Mr. Durso’s Board candidacy mutually attractive.
Aside from his position in the nonprofit sector, Mr. Durso has extended his compassion and his desire for community service to providing pro bono legal work on behalf of children, serving as a Cub Scout PackMaster, running for political office, and being a legal education instructor teaching courses in areas such as international human rights, constitutional history, employment litigation, and trial evidence.
Mr. Durso is a graduate of Dickinson School of Law and received his Juris Doctor in 1984, graduating magna cum laude. Prior to attending law school, Mr. Durso received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Rutgers University.
Mr. Durso and his wife currently reside in Carlisle, Pennsylvania; they have three grown sons.