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Board Spotlight on Sarah Anderson

Thank You For Being Such A Vital Part Of Our Team, Sarah Anderson! We Look Forward To Sharing More About You So Others Can Get To Know You Better!

What keeps you motivated? What maintains your passion for and commitment to the work you are doing?

As a physical therapist, the human body and human movement is our expertise. When working with patients, the people and their personal journey are what keep me motivated and committed to my work. We need our bodies and movement to be able to interact with our world and connect with others. It is the joy of my job to get to learn the whole person and what their hopes and fears are and how human movement can help them fulfill their greater purpose and passion.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person you are grateful for who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

My mom is the most amazing teacher and nurturer that I have ever come across. These are both truly her gifts. When I was younger, she would patiently sit with me and make me read out loud. I can remember squirming on the couch because I was self-conscious about my reading and would much rather be playing football in the street with the boys. Her patience and functional learning skills helped me to become a good learner and confident student. One skill she taught me early was to record myself and listen to the cassettes in the car on the way to school to memorize facts. She also had me make lists of concepts I still needed reinforcement on and tape that single paper on the mirror to study while blow-drying my hair. She showed me that flashcards were for pockets while on the go. There was no excuse to skip out on studying and the multimodal method helped reinforce concepts in many ways. This solid study skill foundation was an asset for college, graduate school, and board licensing.

What do you like to do in your free time, Sarah?

In my free time, I love to hang out with my kids, play sports in the yard, go on hikes, or spend time outdoors. I love fitness and exercise and find myself dabbling in many modes of movement including running, indoor cycling, CrossFit, and yoga. I love to read and learn and am still mostly drawn to nonfiction books.

If you were granted three wishes, what would they be and why?

1: Humanity as a whole returns to love over fear 

2: I would have a private jet and pilot to get to travel anywhere with my family and friends. 

3: All people get one person that loves them unconditionally and one tablet that has endless education resources

Share one professional development goal and one personal goal you have for the upcoming year.

The COVID-19 pandemic impacted health care tremendously. Hospitals and health care workers had to learn rapidly and work tirelessly to keep up with the changes and volume of sick patients. One aspect of patient care that was implemented in the ICUs was placing a ventilated patient (breathing tube) in the prone position (on their stomach). I joined a team that helped train staff on how to do this safely for the patient and to keep staff uninjured turning a sedated patient. I have been in an outpatient orthopedic “sports” clinic for 15 years, but being on this team I was re-awakened to the intricacies of critical care. As a lifelong learner, I realized that my skills have become weak in patient care in this area and I would like to be trained up again so that I am proficient with our most vulnerable patients.

What are you most passionate about? Can you share a story?

One of the things that I am most passionate about is elevating young girls to be confident in their own skin and their specific passions. With my own daughters, we read books on strong female figures like Malala, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Stacey Abrams. These women are models for how to break the chains of social norms and restrictions to achieve greater equality and opportunity for women. Through Malala’s story, my daughters were surprised to learn that education is a gift not afforded to all women around the world and that books could be as precious as gold (or ipads :)) They also didn’t know that Justice Ginsburg was paramount in allowing them to own personal property or bank accounts. Stacey Abrams spoke to them about using passion to pursue personal endeavors despite internal or external hurdles. Learning through stories of other women, including women close to them, is important so that they can continue to be empowered and confident to lead in their homes and in the world. To solidify some of these sentiments, before bed each night my daughters and I have a secret handshake where we remind each other that we are strong, smart, beautiful, and have good hearts.

Please share your favorite Life Lesson quote. How is it relevant to your life? 

There is a prayer that I start each day with. I ask God: Where will you have me go? What will you have me do? What would you have me say?

These questions are rarely answered on the spot but they at least open the possibilities for the day to unfold in a manner that is divinely led. I still do mostly all of my own conscious and practical planning for the day, but by opening up with this simple prayer, it opens my spirit to being guided by good.

The quote that I have guided much of my adult life with came to me during graduate school. I woke up saying in the middle of the night saying “nothing worth anything is easy.” I do not remember my dream, but when I woke up I felt that it was something I really needed to know and kept repeating it. It is not a profound or complex quote, but it is meaningful in that it is a simple reminder to be resilient and persevere even when it’s hard . . . because if it’s hard it means it is worth something.

Is there a person in the world with whom you would love to have a private lunch and why? He/she might just see this! 🙂

In high school, I was asked this same question and I will still answer it with the same person: Oprah Winfrey.

I would love to have lunch with Oprah because she is one of the most amazing women with a courageous life story. I would love to ask her about some of her trials and internal voice as she went from an orphan to talk show host to billionaire. I would like to ask her what are the best tools that she learned along the way to continue to have the confidence to be successful amidst so much hardship. Her giving heart and spirit are inspiring and I would love to know more about her philanthropy work and what else she envisions for a better world.

Why did you choose to be a Board Member of Educate. Radiate. Elevate.?

I believe that education is the key that unlocks opportunity and human potential. I am hopeful for equal access, quality, and opportunity to learn regardless of location, socioeconomics, or cultural background. We know this is not the case and the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the achievement gap in our underserved students. When I heard about E.R.E. and how it sought to mitigate the learning loss for students in underserved communities, I knew what an impact this could make. By investing in one student at an early age we invest in their skills, talents, and creativity for a lifetime. The exponential positive impact many students could have over a lifetime on our families, cities, and nations are exciting – this is why I want to be a part of this team.

What about the Educate. Radiate. Elevate.’s Purpose, Mission, and Core Values speaks most to you and why?

The mission of minimizing disproportionate learning losses to elevate economic, social, and emotional stability is what makes me excited and hopeful for creating real change for children, families, and communities. By starting early with education through access to one-on-one mentors and tutors, these students are given an opportunity to make great improvements in their classroom work and content comprehension. As they work with the tutor, their engagement, understanding, and self-efficacy for learning improve. This confidence becomes a catalyst for continued learning, achievement, and opportunities, both in the present moment and in their future adult lives.

Thanks, Sarah! We Are So Lucky To Have You On The Team!

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