Allison I. Carlos, 22: Washington Street Properties

 

For Allison I. Carlos, being a north country native is a defining characteristic, but it’s not always easy.

“Being a part of community events is really important to me, but it’s not always [possible] to make events,” she said.

Her words make sense. Ms. Carlos has a full-time job, is a small business owner and a foster parent — and that’s just the beginning of the list.

“Life is all about priorities,” she said.

Ms. Carlos’ first priority is her family, which is also her No. 1 tie to Northern New York.

“I’ve always wanted to stay here. I was born and raised here,” she said. “My family has roots deeply seeded in the area. I’m very close with my family. I’ve always been honored to be a part of a family with entrepreneurial spirit.”

Ms. Carlos said, her father, a local business owner, is among her mentors. She cited his influence as the source of her tireless work ethic, pointing out that it’s hard to find someone who can balance raising a family with being a successful business owner like her father does.

“His ability to manage all that, along with being an awesome father, is really impressive to me,” she said.

At 22 years old, Ms. Carlos has already begun to instill what her family has taught her into a much younger generation through her involvement in foster care.

Her foster child, Sweet Pea — a name Ms. Carlos uses to protect the girl’s safety — has been in her care for five months. Prior to that, Ms. Carlos hosted many respite children, a weekend-long form of foster care.

Ms. Carlos grew to love children during her 10 years of teaching dance. A student who came through her class had been adopted, and that inspired Ms. Carlos.

“I was intrigued by her story and the opportunity that her family gave her — how significantly they changed her life,” she said.

Shortly thereafter, Ms. Carlos heard an ad on the radio for House of the Good Shepherd, a foster care agency, called them, and became certified as a foster parent.

“I was really excited to be part of something that could change a child’s life,” she said.

Ms. Carlos’ second priority at this point in her life is her full-time job with Washington Street Properties, she said.

What excites her most in her field is the opportunity to become part of positive change.

“[It’s great to be] part of a company that is so focused on growth and not only expanding whatever they’re working on, but making the area better,” she said. “The company I work for is focused on making a building better and improving the community.”

Ms. Carlos is a bit of an anomaly in the business field in the fact that she hasn’t yet earned a four-year degree. She had been accepted to study communications at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, but had an interest in real estate and understood the importance of developing hands-on work experience.

Her decision echoed the advice she received from many people — what she described as the best advice she’s ever followed: “Follow my own path and create my own opportunities,” she explained.

“There was a multitude of people in my life who were always encouraging who gave me the ability to do that with my life, and not be limited,” she continued, “to not to set boundaries for myself and know that anything is possible.”

Her faith is her third priority, she said, which also affects her attitude toward life.

“There are no boundaries. When I set my mind to something, it’s important for me personally to follow through with that in a way that I’ve never disappointed myself or my family,” she said. “Even if it doesn’t go as planned, everything happens for a reason.”

— by Lorna Oppedisano

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The Allison I. Carlos File

Hometown: Watertown

Professional position: Director of business development, Washington Street Properties, Watertown

Family: Parents, Louis and Shelley Carlos; brothers, Nathaniel and Nick; foster daughter, “Sweet Pea”

Education: Associate degree, Jefferson Community College

Community involvement: Miss Thousand Islands, 2015 and 2012; owner, Dance Alley; co-owner, Alley-Kat photo booth; speaker at Emerge NNY; keynote speaker for JCC’s Business Club Entrepreneurship Day; JCC Student Ambassador

Last book read: “Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and the Middle Class Do Not!” by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter