Building Strong Communities, One Family at a Time - Argosy University, San Francisco Bay Area Instructor Advocates Link Between Families and Inclusive, Accepting Communities
Sarah O’Neal Rush, M.A. adjunct professor, College of Arts and Science at Argosy University, San Francisco Bay Area is a sought-after expert on the topic of empowering underserved urban youth and young adults to help them become strong, active members of their local communities. Rush, a mental health professional, is the great-grandchild of educator and activist Booker T. Washington.
Twenty years ago, Sarah O’Neal Rush visited Tuskegee, Alabama for the first time. She’d grown up in California and while she knew that her great-grandfather was Booker T. Washington, it wasn’t something that her family often discussed. The trip to Alabama not only connected her to the past—it set the path to her future. Walking through the George Washington Carver Museum, buildings constructed by slaves including Washington, and her great-grandfather’s home, Rush was inspired to pursue a career helping those who struggled to lift themselves up from poverty and at-risk situations.
A Pathway to Bringing People Together
Today, Rush is an author, mental health professional, and expert who speaks to the media regarding how communities can address and overcome racial tension. She asserts that success begins with the foundation of strong families. “I believe that when we build strong families, we strengthen inner consciousness, self-awareness, and in turn, self-worth. This type of strength is necessary to breed [awareness] that will impact future generations.”
Rush focuses on empowering underserved urban youth and young adults, and those they interact with—including counselors, educators, clergy, social workers, probation and parole officers, mentors, youth organization staff, employers, and parents.
She adds that in order to truly love, respect, and appreciate others, individuals must first learn to love, respect, and appreciate themselves and their history. “From that point, we can begin to put distance between what separates us and begin to build bridges that will bring us together.”
Rush was recently in the media spotlight—featured on Atlanta’s WALR-FM, American Urban Network (AURN), and Sirius XM’s “Maggie Linton Show. She put the spotlight on Black Family Month and gave her perspective on how to strengthen black families.
Rush says that she enjoys being interviewed because it allows her to discuss what she’s passionate about, in her own authentic voice. “I get my points across simply by being honest and speaking from my heart.”
Her goal is to empower people by talking about her own experiences—good and bad. “I think I can help others to see that we all make mistakes. From there, I give solutions, or tell how [a person] can overcome difficult circumstances. I don’t believe in just leaving people in a state of pity or ‘woe is me.’ Rather, I bring them to a state of believing that if I could triumph from my mistakes, so can they.”
The Steps to Transforming Lives
Rush will release her third book, Sixteen Success Principles: Transforming Ordinary Lives into Extraordinary Legacies, in October 2016. The book is a character education and leadership workbook, based on the historical tried-and-true teachings of Booker T. Washington. She combines his teachings with her own expertise as a mental health professional and experience growing up “at-risk” in Oakland, California.
She says that the five main pillars of the book are based on the philosophies of character building, education, excellence, leadership, and personal responsibility.
Sixteen Success Principles: Transforming Ordinary Lives into Extraordinary Legacies is divided into four areas: Being, Growing, Rising, and Soaring. Each area includes four principles that build upon, strengthen, and intersect with previous lessons within the workbook.
Learn more about Rush on her website: http://www.extraordinarylegacy.net
And listen to her radio interviews by clicking on these links:
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