As Why We Work Here’s Program and Curriculum Developer, Leah plays a primary part in driving the ongoing development of our core curriculum, associated materials, and accompanying trainings that support participating teachers and community members. She brings a creative background, dedication to social justice, and X numbers of years in the education sector to Why We Work Here.
Leah began her career as a teacher as an art teacher in the Laguna Indian Reservation in New Mexico through Teach for America, and has gone on to teach high school math in both the South Side of Chicago and Saint Paul, Minnesota. During many a summer she has taught at the South Dakota Governor's Camp and Ambassadors of Excellence, a summer camp she attended when she was young that profoundly influenced the course of her education and who she wanted to become.
Leah has a MA in Teaching from Hamline University and a BA in Drama from Washington University in Saint Louis. When not hard at work building Why We Work Here, Leah loves nothing more than seeing live theater and marveling at her goofy nieces and nephews.
As a co-founder, Megan has been a part of Why We Work Here since its inception during a park bench conversation in the center of Manhattan with Elizabeth. Her lifelong passion at the intersection of experiential learning and community development is a thread that ties her past experiences in media, storytelling, education, and community organizing together, and fuels the development of Why We Work Here today.
Prior to Why We Work Here, Megan was on the Strategy Team at Purpose, a global consultancy and incubator that mobilizes people to solve major social issues. There, she also developed a strategy and subsequent trainings that supported educators to strengthen their fellow teachers’ voices in district- and state-level education decisions. She was also a founding member of a team that incubated a new digital initiative to mobilize consumers to support a better US food system.
Megan has designed and taught classes ranging from American history to weaving, working with students 2 - 16 years of age in both the United States and Australia. She also previously worked with the independent global TV/radio news hour Democracy Now! and the civic start-up Made in the Lower East Side (MiLES). She hold a B.A. with Honors in Cinema and Media Studies from Carleton College.
Elizabeth is a trained city planner and architect who has spent most of her career exploring the role of social capital in driving place-based social change and economic development. She brings a depth of experience in community engagement, capacity building, and social innovation to Why We Work Here.
Previously a strategist at Purpose, Elizabeth focused her portfolio on local movement building and public education. She co-developed the strategy for the organization and technology platform Minha Sampa (“My São Paulo”), which mobilizes citizens of São Paulo to solve major urban issues in their city. She also worked with leading education nonprofits and national foundations to support greater teacher and parent leadership in local and state-level policy conversations.
Elizabeth has led community-based design projects at a housing nonprofit in rural Alabama, and served as a community engagement consultant to the Aga Khan Development Network in Gujarat, India. Her prior research focused on the role of the creative process in building community capacity for social change in under-resourced American communities. She has a Master of City Planning degree from MIT and a BA in Architecture from Washington University in Saint Louis.