Adam Weingarten detoured from the well-traveled road, quitting his full-time accounting job a few years ago to volunteer in New Orleans with Rebuilding Together. Upon returning to Chicago, he followed his heart, believing he could make more of a difference working for the Alzheimer's Association than at a major accounting firm. He is also pursuing a graduate degree in Public Policy and Administration at Northwestern University.
The road less traveled is the road of impact for Adam, according to his friend and college fraternity brother, Matthew Brash, who nominated him.
"His plan for life was not the standard road: college, career, marriage, kids, etc., but rather to take each opportunity as it comes and he goes with it, success or failure," Matthew said. "Being Jewish is not just about going to synagogue for services but how you represent yourself and your religion outside. Adam is an outstanding citizen who embodies all the good that we as Jews want represented…His mind may be in accounting, but his heart is in giving back."
Pays the bills:
Chapter Finance Director at the Alzheimer’s Association
On the side:
Obtaining his Masters of Public Policy and Administration at Northwestern University, volunteering with Chicago Cares
Describe yourself in 10 words or less:
Spontaneous, exciting, loyal, hilarious, driven, adventurous, well-rounded, giving, active, Zen
When I had longer hair, I heard Seth Rogen a few times
How do you Jew in Chicago?
In all honesty, I am not a very religious person. But I am proud to be Jewish and of my Jewish heritage, and I try to carry that with me in whatever I do. I went on a Birthright trip to Israel and stay connected to my friends from that trip that live here in Chicago. I try to support my Jewish friends in their organizations and interests.
Being active, helping others, sports, music, traveling and exploring, reading, politics
How do you give back?
I donate, participate and volunteer at Alzheimer's Association events (beyond my job description), volunteered at the Greater Chicago Food Depository, organized a team to participate in Chicago Cares Serve-a-thon in 2011, and am always looking for other volunteer opportunities and to get involved on a board for a not-for-profit organization.
Fill in the blank: If time and money were limitless, I would:
I would develop my own not-for-profit organization, fund and donate to other not-for-profit and social enterprise organizations, travel abroad and in the U.S. and learn how to play the guitar (I’ve tried a couple of times already) – just as a start.
Chicago's Jewish community in 10 years:
I would hope that 10 years from now, members of Chicago's Jewish community would be better connected to one another and more diverse. It is important for the Jewish community to expand its horizons into all fields and areas within the community. I hope that there is an even greater presence in giving back to Chicago together.
Me in 10 years:
Personally, I hope to be married and have kids, have traveled to new places and revisited cities I've already been to, learned some new skills, made new friends and still be active. Professionally, I hope to be working for or running a not-for-profit organization or government agency, hopefully in Chicago, but I'm also not afraid to go wherever life may take me.