Teacher, Orange County Public Schools
Sarah Stokes is a Florida native, and moved to Orlando almost ten years ago to begin her studies at the University of Central Florida. As an undergraduate, she was engaged in service learning opportunities with the Burnett Honors College and in leadership studies through LEAD Scholars. This was the beginning of her journey in civic engagement. Although much of her time as an undergraduate was spent supporting local K-12 educational causes, she went on to pursue a Master’s degree at the University of Denver in Sport and Performance Psychology. After graduation, she felt called to return to Orlando, where she dedicated a year of service with City Year Orlando, an Americorps program. She served as a mentor and tutor at a local Title I high school, and realized that she could apply the performance psychology skills she learned in her graduate training alongside her passion for social justice in the education system. In 2018, she became a teacher. Although she is in the early days of her career, Sarah has noticed firsthand the long-lasting effects of the achievement gap and the many, multifaceted barriers that pervade the current education system, which prevent teachers from helping to close that gap for their students. Simply put, Sarah is passionate about education reform. She is also passionate about her UCF Knights, reading, and national parks.