Our Journey to Sage & Savant
You’re just a kid.
You’re too young.
Children should be seen, not heard.
What do you know about that?
You don’t understand.
Let me do that for you.
This is the way to do it.
As a child, I heard these reinforced lines and verdicts all the time. Over and over again. They only served to shut down my capacity, genius and potential. And it infuriated me.
I so badly wanted to serve by solving problems I witnessed in my community and in the world. But all I heard were different versions of the word “can’t”. I promised myself that I would one day create a space where children would be surrounded and swimming in the word “can”. A space where equipping and empowering children doesn’t set them up to be leaders and problem solvers in the future, but gives them the tools to be real earth shakers and wonder transformers today.
I’ve been working on that dream ever since starting with digging in and developing the diverse skill set that comes along with a Bachelors in Microbiology and a double Masters in Public Health and Theology of Urban Development. With educational credibility in hand, I leveraged my critical thinking and solid problem solving into the worlds of UNICEF, international governments, grass-root organizations and my own youth empowerment coalition, VOICES.
All of my experience really solidified once Jed and I started our own family. From the beginning, we pivoted our communication with our sons around not what they want to be when they grow up, but who they want to be and what kinds of problems they want to solve. This gave them an enabling, safe space to build their confidence and identity, to share what’s on their minds and think critically about what’s going on around them, and respond with good listening, immediate problem solving and respectful communication. As they’ve grown, they’ve walked into the world to proudly parkour and cook and hang upside down from trees because they know who they are.
As I spoke with friends and other parents about Jed and I’s process and the kind of socially-minded programming I dreamed of creating, they’d say, “I would totally send my kids to that.” But when I investigated socially-minded classes for children, I kept coming up short.
I knew our city needed a space to build socially and ecologically conscious children who recognize their own power to influence social change, to react constructively to the world’s constant bombardment and to solve problems by unlocking their inner genius.
And I knew I had to create it.