Uplift started during a nine-month intensive course offered by a mindfulness community that weaves together meditation, 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 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 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.
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.
Micheline Green, M.Ed
Thomas McConkie & Gloria Pak
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.
Sara Hughes-Zabawa, LMSW
For over a decade, Sara has advocated for holistic, evidence-based mental health and social justice at the individual and community levels. As a licensed clinical social worker and therapist, she helps clients navigate life transitions with dignity and self-compassion, especially those related to grief and faith. She often works alongside LGBTQ+ individuals to explore the relationship between their sexual and/or gender identity and their spiritual beliefs while fostering self-love and family acceptance. Sara received a dual masters in Social Work and Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of Michigan. In a mixed-faith marriage, Sara and her partner use Uplift to model respect and gratitude for one’s unique values, beliefs, and perspectives.
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