Sara Schilling

Board Member

Sara served as Curriculum Director of the Columbia University YFD board since its founding in 2009 until 2011, during which time she greatly enjoyed coming up with catchy acronyms for the manuals and enthusiastically leading the volunteers in weekly ice-breakers.

She participated in mock trial throughout high school in Minneapolis, Minnesota and became a part of YFD after teaching English for a summer in a small town in central Chile, where she caught the curriculum-writing bug.

After graduating with a degree in Neuroscience and Behavior and Hispanic Studies from Columbia, Sara moved down to Santiago, Chile to work for an NIMH-sponsored regional mental health research network, known as RedeAmericas, and eat empanadas. She is currently finishing a Masters of Public Health program at Universidad de Chile and is involved in various studies related to psychiatry, community mental health care, and stigma. She plans to return to the US for medical school and further public health graduate work in a couple of years (only after trekking around Patagonia, of course).

[quote]“YFD gave my students the tools needed to sustain an argument and stand up for their beliefs.”[/quote][quote]“My involvement in YFD made me more conscientious of how I express myself and my beliefs to others.”[/quote][quote]“Work in the classroom -- seeing students' different learning styles –– greatly informed the development of the curriculum in the initial years of the program.”[/quote][quote]“College students are able to relate to middle- and high-schoolers, due to a generational similarity but more so, because college students are also still in the process of defining their "personhood" and place in society.”[/quote][quote]“Unlike other extra-curricular "service" programs, YFD doesn't give volunteers empty promises and is not motivated by bestowing some ‘service’ on others.”[/quote]