Recognized as “highly professional, responsible, reliable, and adaptable,” Sarah is deeply committed to creating a better world for future generations.
Sarah Collins is a persistent educator who has overcome obstacles again and again in order to help build a better future for all children. Despite the difficulties of simultaneously going to school, working full-time as a massage therapist, and raising their daughter as a single parent, Sarah earned associate degrees in early childhood development and special education and began work as a nature preschool teacher. Determined to continue their education and set a strong example for their daughter, Sarah transferred to the University of Washington, persisting through family medical challenges and a forced move out of Seattle due to high rent prices.
Through these challenges, teaching children about the world they are inheriting remained at the forefront of Sarah’s mind. When a student repeated a comment about the “earth’s dying,” Sarah realized that their education hadn’t taught them how to address climate change with young learners. Sarah then sought out this education for themself: they designed, researched, and implemented an independent study about how educators could prepare early learners for their complex future and presented the findings at conferences. In collaboration with colleagues from the University of Washington, the Washington Department of Children, Youth, and Families, and Cultivate Learning, they also created a professional development course that aided in the passage of S.B. 5151, the first legislation in the country to license outdoor early care programs.
Sarah is now pursuing their dual master’s degrees in the School for Environment and Sustainability and School of Education at the University of Michigan, where they have received the Weinberg Internship, served on a project with the Climate Technology Centre and Network, and been named a Behavior, Energy, and Climate Change Fellow. They are also the educational program specialist at the Pierella Rainforest Reclamation Project and a leading author of a chapter on education for sustainability in the U.S. for an edited book volume to be published by Springer. Recognized as “highly professional, responsible, reliable, and adaptable,” Sarah is deeply committed to creating a better world for future generations.
CEW+ applauds Sarah’s persistence and vision and names them a Margaret Dow Towsley Scholar.