Meet the Team

Rachel Cardwell

Development Director


Phone: (541) 617-2877 x5

Why are you involved with Boys & Girls Clubs?

My entire career has been focused on removing barriers for youth as they work to unlock their own futures, which is why working for Boys & Girls Clubs of Bend was so appealing. It checks all my boxes: guiding young people along a path toward success, building a community of support systems around them, and watching them move into opportunities that wouldn’t exist for them otherwise.

What path did you take to end up here?

I was a lucky kid from rural Oregon, being awarded a mostly full-scholarship to Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA. After earning my BFA, one of my very first jobs was in an after school program called Hilltop Artists in Residence. The program used glassblowing to teach young people from vastly different backgrounds the values of teamwork, persistence, imagination, responsibility, and respect. The years I spent there were the most formative of my career and defined not only the kind of leader I want to be, but the type of change I want to affect in my community. I ultimately left that position to deepen my understanding of the world of higher education, knowing post-secondary pursuits were the key to these young people’s futures. I spent well over a decade at the intersection of colleges and communities, building relationships and investing resources where they would make the most impact.

W​hat ​is your favorite part about living in Central Oregon?

It feels like home. The air smells the same and the people still smile in passing, reminiscent of the small Oregon town I grew up in. I’m so grateful to be able to raise my kids here and show them how amazing Oregon is!

Meet the Team