Carlos Yepez is a member of the Cristian Rivera Foundation’s Committee. When we had the opportunity to speak with him about all of his wonderful work he does for the foundation. We were so impressed by his passion for the organization and his drive to make the foundation better.
Carlos was introduced to the foundation through a work colleague about 7 years ago and attended the 6th annual CRF Annual Celebrity Gala. When he attended his first Gala, he knew he had to get involved, and he has been a board member ever since. Two years after his initial involvement with CRF, he was elected to serve on the Board of Directors, a position he takes very seriously due to its high level of commitment and involvement. When asked how it felt to be given a position on the Board of Directors, Carlos said, “It was great, you know, there’s a lot of commitment that comes with that too. But it was nice because I feel like I could reach a lot more people.” Of his co-Board Director Darlene Rodriguez, Carlos said that she is awesome and a great source of support for both himself and the foundation. Carlos is an incredible asset to the board, and we are constantly impressed by his drive to support the foundation.
Carlos has put a lot of effort into securing funding with his colleagues through his workplace. He is the VP Digital Banking Customer Success Manager at Investors Bank and has been in banking and finance for over 20 years. His previous organization had a donation matching system, where any charitable donations made by employees would be matched by the company, and Carlos told many colleagues how to take advantage of this system to donate to CRF. Although his current company does not have the same system, he still encourages colleagues and clients to donate to CRF in order to secure funding. Carlos is passionate about raising money for the foundation because he believes that funding extends the lives of children affected by DIPG, and allows them to live longer, healthier lives.
Carlos is also passionate about DIPG awareness. He connected the foundation with DIPG warrior Jesselyn Silva, who recently met and went shopping with CRF Founder, John Rivera. Due to Carlos’s efforts to increase awareness of the foundation, his work colleague knew who to turn to when he received word that the Silva family needed assistance. Carlos is passionate about making people aware of the foundation because he believes by making more people aware, we can help more families get proper care for their children.
Carlos believes in the attitude “just do it,”. When he tells people about CRF and asks them to donate, he says he doesn’t hold back because he knows what he’s fighting for. He says, “you need to put yourself out there, and really, just let it go and see what happens, right. But if you don’t try it, you won’t know.” For every no, you might get a yes, and Carlos takes that attitude into everything he does.
To Carlos, the Cristian Rivera Foundation “means hope,”. He says, “Cristian Rivera was John’s son, who, unfortunately, had to endure DIPG and succumb for this foundation to exist. I think we need to remember that we’re honoring his name, but [John’s] idea was also to continue to find a cure and give hope to those that are being affected by this. So to me, the foundation is the hope of finding the cure, beating DIPG, helping those that have been impacted, and educating those that don’t know what [DIPG] is. Hopefully, we can find a cure and move on to the next thing.” Yepez has three kids himself and said that seeing what DIPG does to other children really touched his heart and made him want to get involved in any way he could. He hopes that the foundation can eradicate DIPG so that no child has to go through the pain of this diagnosis ever again.
We were so honored to speak to Carlos and learn about all of the incredible work he does for the foundation. If more people were as compassionate as he is, the world would be a much better place. Thank you to Carlos for taking the time to do an interview with us. We are so excited to see what he does next.
By Keiyara Vanhook and Camille LaMaster