Have you met Caitlan Wren?
If you have met our Regional Director for Dallas/Fort Worth, you know these things are true: 1. She is quick with a quip and a smile, 2. The adage “to know her is to love her” absolutely applies, and 3. You want this girl in your corner.
How It Started
Caitlan was born and raised in Keller, Texas. She spent her childhood idyllically riding her bicycle with neighborhood friends, playing sports of all kinds, and spending time volunteering and gathering in her church. Her teenage years were both challenging and formative – though there were struggles, she was buoyed by the unwavering love of her extraordinary mother and the very real support of two committed teachers, whom she credits for “showing up and betting on her.” She set her sights on Oklahoma State University with an eye on becoming a teacher herself, but first, a summer job as a Camp Counselor at Camp Ozark in Arkansas would change her perspective … and her life.
At Camp Ozark Caitlan leaned into the hard work of 24/7 camp counseling and supporting girls of all ages. She particularly loved the “Ozark for All” program, which is a foundation-sponsored, week-long camp experience for inner city youth. She loved connecting with the kids and hearing their stories, which she describes as “humbling, sad and beautiful all at the same time.” Caitlan would spend five summers working at Camp Ozark alongside her future husband, Josh.
Marriage took her to Houston, where she finished up her degrees in English Studies and Creative Writing with minors in Spanish and Education at the University of Houston. She began working at Genesys Works, a nonprofit dedicated to providing pathways for high school students in underserved communities. She absolutely loved the experience and being the person who advocated for these kids and supported them.
A second nonprofit opportunity came calling in the form of PlayWorks – an organization providing coaching for children in underserved elementary schools. This was by now a familiar calling – supporting kids with needs was her passion. She quickly moved from coaching into teaching, which she jumped into with both feet. Her students, their families, and the schools where she taught became like family to her.
Teaching these students gave her a window into the very real impact of nonprofits in the lives of these children, and she began to see all the ways that nonprofits can change the trajectory of people’s lives. This was an important realization for Caitlan, because the combination of a return to Dallas/Fort Worth, the birth of her children, and the death of her father caused her to reevaluate her life and her career.
How It’s Going
Brian Joseph was a family friend, and at a holiday party he overheard Caitlan talking about leaving teaching. It took a nanosecond for him to offer her a job at RevJen.
She began by using her English background to edit early iterations of our Fuel Series Workshop materials, craft marketing messaging, and script pitches. Before she knew it, she was having funder conversations, and in 2019 became our Regional Director in D/FW. And she loves it – RevJen, the work, her leaders, and her team. She feels like she’s a part of something truly great.
Although she’s not directly serving the kids and families she loved so much, she is giving the same attention to the nonprofit leaders she serves. She recognizes that they are being pulled in 100 different directions and knows that nobody is asking them what THEY need. Well, Caitlan is asking. (I told you, this is a girl you want in your corner.)
When she isn’t connecting with nonprofit leaders, you can find Caitlan, her husband Josh, and her two daughters, LJ and Flo watching Ole’ Miss sports, taking on the outdoors, listening to music, dancing around their house, and spending time at their church.