Other duties as assigned

5 Dec

Kara Fuhlbrugge’s bachelor’s degree in graphic design took her to Austin, Texas, immediately after graduating from Iowa State in 2003. The job – designing watches for children and adults – was with Seiko Instruments. After a few years, she moved to a marketing firm where she worked on projects for a variety of local clients.

But she wanted a job she could be passionate about. And she found it in Special Olympics Texas. As the only graphic designer for the organization that provides year-round sports training and competition for 40,000 kids and adults with intellectual disabilities, Kara designs banners, T-shirts, billboards – and just about everything else.

“I love it when I see people wearing the T-shirts I designed,” Kara said. “I went crazy one day when I was driving on I-35 toward Tulsa and saw a billboard I designed. I started screaming and turned the car around so I could take a picture.”

Kara grew up in Farmington, Iowa. “I started out at ISU as a small-town Iowa girl, but I’m proud of where I am today, making a difference in the lives of thousands of people with intellectual disabilities,” she said.

In addition to her design work, Kara’s “other duties as assigned” include working athletics competitions and other events – like the fundraiser in November that allowed participants to rappel down the side of the InterContinental Hotel in downtown Austin for a contribution to Special Olympics Texas of $1,000 or more.

Kara’s role: Congratulate rappellers. Take their pictures. Get them to act excited. Jump up and down. Meet a guy dressed like Batman.

She never stopped smiling.

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