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Social Scientist


Inspiring Transformation

At 3 years old, I fell head first into an open construction hole. My older brother was right next to me in an instant. His hand moved like lightening and he caught the back of my shirt just in time. As I dangled above a long fall that I wouldn’t have survived, my brother held onto me. Slowly and with all the terror you’d expect in the situation, he pulled me up using every ounce of 6 year old strength he had.  In those life or death moments, I was sure I wanted to stay alive. And my brother was sure he wanted to rescue me. These two human impulses, the desire to live and the will to save someone else’s life, are at the root of every solution for the complex issues our world faces today.

Despite every set of odds against us, my older brother and I went on to far surpass the abject poverty we grew up in. We overcame struggles that ultimately caused us each to drop out of high school and leave home early. And against all predictions, both of us went from the first step of getting G.E.D.s to completing PhDs in our respective fields. For us, achieving balanced vibrant lives, raising healthy well adjusted kids, giving back to our communities, and succeeding in our career dreams, wasn’t a linear path. But we stayed our course.

Today, my professional work has contributed to raising over $123 million dollars for social good initiatives across the nation. And I’ve personally been part of launching evidence based innovative community initiatives touching the lives of more than 2 million Americans. The humble landscape of my own childhood became an inspiration to cultivate opportunities for others.

As a speaker and author, sharing stories of overcoming challenges, passionately embracing the change it takes to succeed, and living a life of faith fused with grit, is a way of inspiring others to fulfill their greatest life. Because wherever it is that one is starting, the choice to embark on voyages of transformation not only changes you, it changes our world for the better. It’s from each choice we make in our everyday lives, that a world of difference is created.



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