Upward Roots is a nonprofit organization that develops leadership and empowers low-income and at-risk youth through community service. Founded in 2010, Upward Roots engages youth in a dynamic curriculum based on education, leadership, and service learning, promoting the idea that each and every young person can be a positive change-maker within their community. By providing the training and mentorship needed to successfully plan an execute community service projects of their own design, Upward Roots helps young people develop into emerging leaders, while also improving self-confidence, academic progress, personal development, and civic attitudes.
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Laura MyersRead More
Laura spent 21 years with Hewlett-Packard and Agilent Technologies as an IT professional. She held several positions from software developer to project and program manager for worldwide software development. Laura currently is the Chief Operating Officer for the Bay Area Women’s Initiative, a growing nonprofit in San Jose which mobilizes female athletes to inspire and lead through community service. She is a strong proponent of the servant leadership model and that change begins with the individual. A graduate of Cal Poly, Pomona and All-American softball player, she is a true sports enthusiast and active supporter of providing opportunities for girls and women in sport.
Lindsey JonesRead More
As an inner city teacher in Chicago, Lindsey was profoundly impacted by the lack of purpose and influence among her students. That, combined with her passion for service, remained with her as she went on to play professional soccer and coach at the collegiate level. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Lindsey has lived in the Bay Area for five years, and recently completed her Masters of Arts in Leadership. After her career as a college coach, she began working for Right To Play, an international humanitarian organization, while she co-founded Upward Roots. Lindsey is passionate about youth development and collaborative leadership. She believes that instilling just a bit of hope in youth can change their lives as they begin to see the changes they are capable of making in the world. Lindsey currently manages board relations, budget, and overall operations of of Upward Roots.
Heather DittmerRead More
Heather’s background is largely in sport, having played Division I college soccer at Western Carolina and continuing her career as a coach at both the collegiate and youth level. After years of pursuing her playing career, she began coaching to fulfill her passion of teaching and empowering students through sport and leadership development. Heather‚Äôs passion for service learning has carried throughout both her personal and professional life as she also helped launch Peace Passers and Wine for Water in the southeast. Heather is passionate about experiential learning and believes that service is the root of growth in an individual. She co-founded Upward Roots in 2010 and currently manages volunteers and programming for the organization.