Marisol Gouveia’s optimism and energy truly make her one in a million. Following her mantra of “I am only one, but I am one” she knows that, “I can’t do everything, but I can do something -- we can all make a difference.” This mind set has made Gouveia a mover and shaker; she knows that the most effective way to make change is to be the change.
Gouveia immigrated from Trinidad & Tobago in 2001, and in 2016 she became a U.S. citizen. She is passionate about civic participation and never considered shying away from the responsibility just because she wasn’t born in America or didn’t look and sound like those around her. Instead, she committed herself to perform selfless work for her community.
Her passion for improving the community has led her to become involved with a wide array of organizations. When she’s not at work, you can find her volunteering or serving as a board member for Little Flower Neighborhood Association, Partners in Housing, Indianapolis Neighborhood Resource Center, Young Non-Profit Professionals Network, Purdue Extension, Sherman Park Reuse Initiative and Slow Food Indy – just to name a few.
“She is equally committed to all of these causes and has a fountain of seemingly endless energy to pour into making Indianapolis a better place to live. I deeply admire her optimism and her commitment to making a personal impact,” said her 100 Heroes nominator Despi Ross. Gouveia even pursues a mission while at the office – one of animal conservation as the director of membership and engagement at the Indianapolis Zoo.
The passion and drive Gouveia has allows her to improve the lives of hundreds of people through a variety of organizations. Her mission has always been to make the community a better place for all to enjoy. “I feel complete and fulfilled in my destiny on the planet,” she said.
It is Gouveia’s hope that we can set aside our differences and see potential in everyone. To her, community represents a collective destiny that ties us all together, and it starts with talking to each other. “Talk to people, it is basic. Ask them questions to find about their passion, connect people and places,” said Gouveia. “Your passion can motivate you to serve. It can lead you to the path that you may have never known.”