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Mind Grown is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization serving students, educators, and families through the use of the Coaching for Kids social emotional learning curriculum.

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Coaching for Kids Classes

Bring Coaching for Kids SEL enrichment classes to students throughout the Birmingham Metro Area

Professional Development

Providing professional development to educators using the research based principals of the Coaching for Kids SEL curriculum


Family Education

Providing family education workshops to parents and guardians using the researched based principles of the Coaching for Kids curriculum

Summer Camp

Making our Mind Grown summer camp available to all students through scholarships and sliding scale fees


Mind Grown

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Mind Grown Board of Directors

Sarah Bailey is a Certified Professional Coach. She created the Coaching for Kids Curriculum to address the needs she saw to teach social and emotional intelligence at a young age. In 2017, Sarah begin implementing her Coaching for Kids program in schools, camps, and after school programs. Sarah is certified in Youth Mental Health First Aid and trained in trauma informed education. Sarah is also the mom to 4 amazing children.

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Julia McNair has owned Do It Yourself Crafts, a paint your own pottery shop, in Homewood since she opened it in 1999. A native of Tuscaloosa, she attended Vanderbilt University before settling in Birmingham. 


Julia McNair

Board Vice President

Sarah Bailey,

Board President

Dr. Heather Austin is a pediatric psychologist and Associate Professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Department of Pediatrics, Division of Adolescent Medicine. Dr. Austin is the psychologist for a nationally funded program through Maternal and Child Health called Leadership Education in Adolescent Health (LEAH). Within the UAB LEAH program she focuses on interdisciplinary training and supervision with a focus on adolescent-centered/family-involved, culturally competent and community-based care. When not at work, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Hiko, and their daughter, Emi.

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Brian Connell is a lifelong educator who taught high school English for 13 years at St. Joseph's Prep in Philadelphia, PA, and at Athens Academy in Athens, GA, and was the Assistant Principal of John Carroll Catholic High School in Birmingham for 5 years. He is currently the Executive Director of the Desert Island Supply Co., a nonprofit creative writing and publishing center for students in Birmingham City Schools. In addition, Brian is the founder and CEO of The Connell School of Writing, LLC, which teaches critical writing classes to high school students. In his work with students, teachers, and school communities, Brian believes in the power of personal connection, collaboration, and creativity.

Brian Connell

Board Member

Heather Austin, PhD

Board Secretary

Christina Ortiz

Christina Ortiz is owner of GTO Staffing, a family owned temp agency in Birmingham, Alabama.  Christina grew up in Nashville, Tennessee and has lived in Birmingham since 2001.  Christina is a wife and mom of 4 children.  She spends much of her time volunteering at her children's schools and supporting their sport's programs.

Board Member

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