Higher Staff Transition

To all our wonderful partners. My time with Higher is coming to an end. In fact, today is my last day in the office. I’m leaving to focus on school and some creative projects I’ve always wanted to pursue. The easiest way to express how I feel is to thank you all for helping make my time with Higher a fulfilling and life-changing role – Thank You!  

Please keep in touch! 

Here are five of the most important things I’ve learned over the past three years: 

1. The Upside to Being Outside of my Comfort Zone

I truly love to learn, and I have to admit, I’ve learned the most when I’ve stepped outside of my comfort zone to do my job.  Whether standing behind an exhibition booth table or presenting in front of a room full of service providers, the situations that have caused me the most anxiety are, by far, my most cherished memories with Higher. I encourage each of you to do something that challenges you to learn something about yourself in the New Year. 

2. Practice Makes Perfect

When I think about the presentations, webinars and trainings I’ve done with Higher, the ones that I’m the most proud of are the ones that I’ve taken the time to practice. Over and over and over again. Coming into this role with Higher, I didn’t realize how much time goes into designing, developing and conducting an effective presentation.  Many of you do it every day and I’m inspired by your abilities!

3. Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help

When I first started with Higher, I thought that the fact that I lacked frontline experience working with refugees was something to be ashamed of.  As I started to get to know the network, it became clear that I was wrong – when I admitted that I needed help to understand the world of refugee employment, every person I talked to was SO HELPFUL. I’ve tried really hard to mirror the incredible generosity and kindness I’ve received from the network, but it’s difficult to imagine I’ve come close. You guys are amazing.

4. The Importance of Community

The timing couldn’t have been worse for me personally, but I’m so glad that I made time to attend the Welcoming Institute in August of 2015. Throughout the two-day event, Welcoming America somehow managed to change the way I think about communities, and more surprisingly, the role I wanted to play in my own local community. To summarize, I went from not really caring on day one to finding myself on Baltimore’s World Refugee Day planning committee before I even knew what was happening. Thanks, Welcoming America – I needed that!

5. A Little Kindness Goes A Long Way

Giving a compliment is easy, free, and motivational, but I wonder, can you remember the last time someone told you that you were doing a good job? Please, I’m not looking for a compliment – really. What I am hoping is that you pass on some kind words today – maybe to a colleague or maybe to a client – no matter what, you’ll make more of an impact than you will ever know. Here are a few easy phrases to get you started: “Keep up the good work!” “Great job!” “Thank You!”     


  1. Lisa MacClure says:

    Sarah– I have really cherished getting to know you over the last year or so and I can’t thank you enough for all of your hard work with the Denver Conference. It wouldn’t have been the same without you…..especially yoga:) Please keep in touch and good luck on your future endevours. Happy Holidays!–Lisa

  2. Thank you for all you have done to educate us specially the new staff starting to work in employment services. Wishing you all the success on your future endevours.
    Happy Holidays.

  3. Sarah, as I just got to know Higher in the last few months, I’m impressed how involved Higher is with the education, especially with immigrants and refugees — where my passion is as well. I hope to find Higher to be continuing to be as strong as they have been in the Fall of 2016.

    I too have become involved with Welcoming America outside of my work with the Literacy Coalition which is phenomenal. Taught my first Citizenship Class on my own in the Fall and I’m working to involve Welcoming America more and more in the upcoming months/years.

    Keep up your faith and hard work. Looking forward to see where you land next — and do keep in touch.

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