Michelle Serrano, Associate Director at Playworks Southern California, has always found joy through helping others, so it’s no wonder she’s chosen a career where she helps bring safe and inclusive play to children through specialized school recess programs. Playworks believes that play is a basic human need, and we are thrilled to have Michelle joining us at Upswell in November!
Q: In a few sentences, tell us who you are – what drives you, what you’re working on, and why you’re inspired to make the world a better place.
MS: I have the fortune of spending my working hours supporting amazing people in their efforts to create positive, safe, and engaging schools through play (Cool, right?). I get to spend my non-working hours playing, learning and building a community at home with family and friends. I am driven by the idea that our youth are our future, and now more than ever we need to lead lives, model behaviors, and speak the words that will inspire them to live up to their potential (basically be the grownups they deserve!), while also keeping in mind that we are all constantly growing and evolving and have the ability to use our superhero powers for good on a daily basis.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about the physical space you work in?
MS: At Playworks we are so intentional about how our language and interactions embody inclusion and community; our space is no different. I love that I come to work in a place that promotes playfulness, innovation, collaboration, and community filled with open doors, high fives, and recess time!
Q: Who or what are you inspired by right now – and why?
MS: I have always loved helping people. I have been drawn to experiences that are meaningful because of the impact they have on others. I realized that I am inspired by not only helping others, but also helping others develop (co-workers, teammates, youth, etc.). Now, as a mother, I am experiencing my biggest inspiration to date: My kids. I am inspired by their light, their unconditional love, and curiosity for so many things and their potential for positive impact in our collective futures.
Q: What excites you most about Upswell?
MS: I am excited about combining energy, ideas, and action to come together and rise up to meet challenges. Creating a “coalition of the willing” for positive change is powerful thing!