Our Team

Uplift Kids grew out of a desire to expand transformative practices for children.

Meet the team, in alphabetical order.

Amanda Suarez

Amanda holds a master’s degree in school psychology, a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, and a certification as a conscious parenting coach. She works as a school psychologist and is convinced that what kids need most are relationships filled with presence and love. 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 for 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 Kids 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

Jon has worked as a teacher, curriculum creator, content director, 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 Kids, he’s taking this interest in wisdom literature from around the world to help create community, alongside his spouse, for his two sons. 

Michelle Larson

Michelle is a marriage and family therapy associate educated in clinical mental health, and marriage, couple and family counseling. She has additional training in mindfulness practices, somatic therapy, and group facilitation. Michelle is also a student of meditation and serves on the board of Lower Lights School of Wisdom, an organization that explores mindfulness, adult development and integral polarity practice. Michelle has a therapy practice in Portland, Oregon where she lives on a small farm with her husband, three kids and a bunch of animals.

Our Advisors

Micheline Green, M.Ed

Micheline has more than 25 years of experience supporting women, families, and schools. Upon earning her master’s degree in education, Micheline worked as a certified school counselor in Waldorf and Montessori schools. She guides parents and teachers in becoming embodied role models for children. Micheline has a deep calling to be in service to our collective evolution and knows it begins with how we raise our kids.

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. Together they hold a vision for a world where seekers, including children, discover their evolving personhood.

Sara Hughes-Zabawa, LMSW

Sara is a licensed clinical social worker and therapist who helps clients navigate life transitions with dignity and self-compassion, especially those related to grief and faith. In a mixed-faith marriage, Sara and her partner use Uplift Kids to model respect and gratitude for one’s unique values, beliefs, and perspectives.

Jared Forsyth

Jared

Jared is a Staff Software Engineer at Khan Academy, with a lifelong passion for learning and spirituality. He has over a decade of experience with web and mobile development and provides technical expertise and developmental guidance on the website and other technological aspects of Uplift Kids.

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. Becca loves funny and whimsical art, and they infuse each illustration at Uplift Kids with a sense of personality and wonder. 

Header photo credit: Eric Ward

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