PROJECTS ON SOCIAL WELL-BEING
Sara is well versed in positive psychology, the science of happiness, and the ways in which we can thrive in the world.
That is to say, she understands the theory of top-down, structural ideas and can break big picture goals into small actionable steps to move a project forward.
At the same time, she firmly believes that in order to effect change, we also need to work from the bottom up: building relationships with ourselves and with our community, and having the deep conversations that spur on individual change.
Do you have a project like this that you want support on?
The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation (RAK) offers free K-8 curriculum to schools to inspire kindness. However, if children who participate in the school program return to a home not inspired by or informed about kindness, the effect of the RAK curriculum can be diluted.
To bridge the gap, the RAK team decided to explore the idea of deepening the impact of their school-based curriculum by educating parents about the power of kindness, and showing parents ways to use kindness at home. RAK hired Sara as a consultant to conduct a diverse set of focus groups to uncover the best opportunities to teach parents about kindness, and learn which platforms would be most effective in reaching parents.
Sara assembled and hosted five focus groups from the greater Denver area, spanning a wide range of parents from different backgrounds - including diversity in socioeconomics, race, sexual orientation, and children’s ages. After submitting the focus group report, Sara met with the team at the Random Acts of Kindness to share the findings of the report and advise on best next steps.
As Brooke Jones, head of the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation says:
Sara’s knowledge regarding positive psychology and the science behind kindness, coupled with her focus on mothers and families, made her the best candidate to conduct this initiative.
Sara quickly understood the scope of the program we wanted to explore, and was able to pull together the diverse voices we wanted to hear from in the five focus groups she coordinated. Sara was thorough in her preparation – from confirming the big picture questions we wanted to hear answers to, all the way to details like providing snacks and drinks to ensure the comfort of participants – and she quickly turned around a comprehensive report addressing not only the findings, but a thoughtfully prioritized list of suggestions based on those findings.
Not only is Sara the type of person we enjoy working with professionally, but she’s a pleasure to work with as a person. When we move forward with projects of this nature in the future, we would absolutely want to hire Sara again.
- Brooke Jones, Random Acts of Kindness Foundation
Sara curated one of the most successful tours for the Alphabet Rockers, a Grammy-nominated hip-hop group which makes music that makes change, through schools in the Denver Public School system. Over the course of the week, the band reached an estimated 3000 people.
Sara helped the group outline their financial targets, arrive at a diverse range of target schools, find the decision-makers at each school, arrange a wide base of support, get core schools on board, spearhead fundraising to cover the cost of under-funded schools that would still benefit from the group’s message, and coordinate housing and transportation and equipment for the band members.
Beyond the basics, Sara also facilitated a small-group discussion about race between diverse community members and the band, as well as helped to organize a Denver-wide discussion to reach parents of students who were participating in the concerts at their schools, to deepen the impact of the message.
As Kaitlin, the founder of Alphabet Rockers says:
Sara is a visionary leader - and an inspiring director. She has a way of joyfully envisioning that leads to big ideas turning into solid realities. This was the foundation for our most successful school tour for our GRAMMY-nominated children's music group, Alphabet Rockers, created by Sara to create an impactful reach in the greater Denver area. In the course of a week, we staged concerts at 7 schools and hosted multiple events for parents to talk about racism and how to change patterns towards racial justice. Sara built community and even raised funds to stage the concert equitably in various communities. She is exactly the kind of person you want to lean into for fresh perspective, for initiative building and for a joyful future.
- Kaitlin McGaw, Alphabet Rockers