Podcast: Young Woman Doing Well By Doing Good

I had the pleasure to chatting with a young woman recently who is living an amazing life and doing amazing things for a truly innovative organization here in D.C. called DC Central Kitchen.

Abby Elsener has lived an exciting life, vising South Africa and exploring her personal drive to succeed. She is now working for one of the most innovative non profits I know of on the fundraising and development team. DC Central Kitchen isn’t just a soup kitchen. In addition to preparing food for those without, this innovative group trains jobless and homeless people how to prepare food so they can go on to get jobs at local restaurants, catering companies and more.

Listen to this short, 16 minute interview with Abby to learn what makes her tick and get to know the face of another InPower Woman!

Abby Elsener Interview

After we talked, we had some email exchanges and I learned even more about about Abby, DC Central Kitchen and ways we can all InPower ourselves by helping others. Check out these Q&A exchanges for some juicy info.

Q: DC Central Kitchen is a cool organization in so many ways, but why was it “the perfect” organization for you to work for at this point in your career?

DC Central Kitchen is a nonprofit, but it moves with the agility of a small business. People’s roles are constantly in flux as they gain new skills and interests pertaining to our work, and our leadership is dedicated to not only carrying out our mission to serve our community, but to develop a team of professionals, as well. With the support of my department and the organization at large, I feel perfectly poised to pursue my interests and grow into this field I’ve come to feel so passionately about.

Q: What do you believe is the most misunderstood thing about people in poverty?

That they’re somehow different than any of us.

Q: What do you recommend for people who want to “make a difference”? How can supporting an organization like DC Central Kitchen help them personally in their lives and careers?

DC Central Kitchen is so entrenched in the DC community, working on the ground every single day to make better lives for men and women not a lofty dream, but a tangible reality. Supporting DCCK’s work instantly connects a person with the real transformations that are taking place in our kitchen and around our community.

If you’d like to support Abby and the good work of DC Central Kitchen, please learn about ways to donate your time, treasure and talent here. and follow them on Facebook.

Note from Dana: If you don’t live near DC and still would like to experience this transforming experience, find a local nonprofit who does work you’re passionate about and walk in and tell them you’re passionate and want to help. Tell them what turns you on and what you love doing and ask them how you can use that energy to support them. I’m pretty sure they’ll give you a good answer! Volunteering on non-profit boards is how I managed my way through two career transitions and it feeds my soul. I can’t imagine life without some kind of volunteer work these days!

Know someone we should interview for InPower Women? Tell us about them! (Feel free to propose yourself too!)


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