GROWCommunity is led by an executive director and a committed group of community volunteers with years of experience building excellent neighborhood public schools. GROWCommunity volunteers include parents, community leaders and educators.
Sarah Makela is executive director of GROWCommunity. Sarah oversees the organization’s strategic and operational activities, including leading the development and implementation of GROWCommunity’s vision and goals, facilitating the UChicago Impact partnership, guiding committee work and managing volunteer recruitment and development. Sarah serves as the primary contact with key GROWCommunity stakeholders and the media.
Sarah has two sons at Hamilton Elementary, one of the GROWCommunity feeder schools, and lives within view of Amundsen High School. She is the immediate past president of Hamilton Action Team, the school’s parent fundraising/volunteer organization.
Sarah earned her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Chicago. Her dissertation investigated parent involvement organizations at a racially and socioeconomically diverse urban elementary school, and she worked for various education-related research studies while at the University of Chicago. Sarah also has a B.A. in English from the University of Michigan.