Our Story

Uplift started during a nine-month intensive course offered by Lower Lights School of Wisdom — a mindfulness community that weaves together contemplative practice, human development, and the world’s wisdom traditions.

A group of us kept returning to the question of what spiritual health looks like today. It felt urgent, as nearly 70 million U.S. adults now claim no religion, according to Pew Research, while millions more belong to a religion but are still looking for a more expansive, inclusive view of spirituality.

What resources do these parents have to give their kids a spiritual foundation?

Uplift grew out of this question.

We help parents nurture their child’s natural spirituality. 

Who We Are

Meet the team, in alphabetical order.

Amanda Suarez

Amanda has spent 20 years experiencing our education system from every angle. In addition to completing an B.A. in Elementary Education and an M.A. in School Psychology, Amanda has volunteered in every imaginable capacity inside schools: as a room parent, reading tutor, art docent, and parent education chair of her PTA. She’s convinced that what kids need most are relationships filled with presence and love, where they can safely learn that they’re capable of being with whatever life brings, both the beauty and the pain. Amanda is on a mission to help children, including her own four kids, stay connected to their inner aliveness so that they can show up in the world as the most honest, undiluted version of themselves.

Drew Hansen

Drew was initially drawn to business for its potential to positively impact the world. In his career, he built and sold three companies, consulted several in the Fortune 50, and published over a hundred articles in Forbes on topics such as creativity, innovation, strategy, leadership, team building, and economic system change. But despite the success, these experiences caused him to question whether business is indeed a force for good. Uplift emerged out of this disillusionment and represents the change he wishes to see in the world. Drew believes in the power of people to harness their collective wisdom to manifest a more sacred economy today, not tomorrow.

Jon Ogden

After earning an undergraduate degree in literature and a master’s in writing (with an emphasis on research and ethics), Jon has worked as a university instructor, instructional designer, and writer. He’s coupled that work with a decades-long study of the world’s wisdom traditions, seeking for ways to keep the best of the past alive while evolving beyond its limitations. At Uplift, he’s taking this interest in wisdom literature from around the world to help create a better community for his two sons. 

Michelle Larson

Michelle is an anthropologist of the soul. After graduating with a degree in International Cultural Studies, she went into business with her family specializing in management and consulting. As a student of mediation and conflict resolution she recognizes beneath any tension is the universal emotional terrain that makes us human. This interest has brought her back to continue her education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. As the mother of three children she lives into the question of individual and collective life. The one thing she doesn’t question: love.

Our Advisors

Micheline has over 25 years of experience supporting women, families, and schools. As an Integral Master Coach™, she guides parents and teachers in becoming embodied role models for children. Before working as a Certified School Counselor in Waldorf and Montessori schools, she played rugby for the Canadian Women’s team. She homeschooled her three (now grown) kids through middle school, and they challenged her to heal her patterns and parent in a more calm, conscious, and connected way. Micheline has a deep calling to be in service to our collective evolution, and it begins with how we raise our children.

Thomas and Gloria are the founders of Lower Lights School of Wisdom, a contemplative practice community built on their shared passion for the wisdom teachings of the world. Thomas is a developmental researcher, facilitator, and mindfulness teacher who has been in practice for over 20 years; Gloria is an art director, graphic designer, and illustrator who uses art to foreground the inherent beauty in all of life. They became parents in 2020 and together hold a vision for a world where seekers, including children, discover their evolving personhood.

The Artist

Becca Lee

Becca Lee has been drawing comics since childhood. In addition to earning degrees in literature and creative writing, Becca has been a teacher at the university level and has taught writing and art classes for kids ages 8-12. They’re also a founding member of Provo Girls Summit — an event series that targets gender inequality. Becca loves funny and whimsical art, and tries to infuse each Uplift illustration with a sense of personality and wonder. Uplift showcases Becca’s art for kids.

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