Sometimes I go on Twitter – not much – but what I do notice is there are a lot of people who talk about how the system needs to change but then they don’t do anything about it. My guest on today’s podcast – Sara Messelt, the Executive Director of PROOF Alliance - saw a need, gathered resources, and together they did something about it. I hope you will be as inspired as I am by the end of this episode to invite or join others and go make a change in your community.
Sara’s origin story is a little different. She started her passion for FASD through a desire to ensure healthy families by volunteering for March of Dimes while in high school in a Youth Peer Education Network! She graduated with a degree in Family Social Science from the University of Minnesota then worked with the March of Dimes for 18 years. She has spent the last 20 years with the former Minnesota Organization for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (MOFAS) – now known as PROOF Alliance.
In this episode, we talk about what do we need to do as a Society to really make the deep commitment that is required to have every person have every support they need to have an alcohol free pregnancy. We also dive into:
• Sara’s background and the mentors that inspired her to dream big.
• The philosophy that drives PROOF Alliance in its work.
• The journey of rebranding MOFAS to PROOF Alliance.
• The role of advocacy and a step by step plan to achieve change.
Her vision for the future is one I think we all have. That one day:
That child and that family have an experience of the world understanding and aligning around their disability as opposed to having it seen as some obscure thing.
With the roadmap PROOF Alliance has laid out and the resources they are open to sharing, I think this is a vision we can all work toward. We know that FASD reaches into every area and it is time to break down the silos and work toward a common goal. Just like her mom challenged her to make a difference all those years ago, and the mentors along her path fueled her fire, I think you will be inspired by her and her team.
Let me know what you think and what your community or you are doing to build advocacy and capacity.
Proof Alliance webiste