Marlin Jackson, Lisa Mitchell, and Anna Sutter are an operations team that cares about the community. They are seasoned entrepreneurs and community advocates that look at problems and see the possible solutions. The group is driven by a passion to leave the world better than they found it. Their drive paired with business acumen is how they have successfully established Fight for Life and the Building Dreams technology. Each has cultivated success after coming from humble beginnings. Their education, diverse professional backgrounds, and a relentless work ethic has prepared them for success.
Marlin Jackson began developing the Building Dreams SEL Curriculum in 2009, after he completed his undergraduate education at the University of Michigan, while rehabbing from a torn ACL suffered with the Indianapolis Colts. He completed Psychology and Sociology classes that sparked deeper thought and action toward positively influencing young lives that were battling the same or similar ACES and Social Determinants of Health conditions he had overcome. Marlin repurposed the lessons learned growing up in the housing projects, while moving from home to home, and navigating collegiate and professional sports, to create social change through entrepreneurship.
Marlin’s Mission Moment: My mission moment is hearing Ja’Vion Morton-Ross, a student at Sankofa School of Success express in his own words how Building Dreams helped him, he stated:
“It encourages people to do the right thing, it helps with social and emotional learning ,” Ja’Vion Morton said, he is a 5th grader at the school and says he has learned a lot from Building Dreams.. The realization within Ja’Vion’s mind is what we have envisioned for all students. Making an impact is why we do this work.
Lisa Mitchell is a passionate executive that finds her greatest fulfillment through using technology in innovative ways to solve big problems. Lisa brings her experience as a technology/SaaS founder, business consultant, and corporate operations executive to continue to scale the operations and impact of the Building Dreams program. She has a Masters in Management and Bachelors in Business Administration
Lisa’s Mission Moment: My mission moment comes from hearing first-hand how excited the students and educators are to have the new experiences they’ve earned through participating in the Building Dreams program in their classrooms. Hearing that students are asking their teachers to use Building Dreams on their own accord, and then getting to see their excitement when their efforts pay off with earning Building Dreams Bucks, earning their way on to a field trip experience or earning recognition through a Building Dreams Badge. Students understand that their behavior and participation is within their control because of the lessons and core values that are in the Building Dreams program, and that by doing things that benefit not only their own success, but the success and climate of their classroom and building, they truly get to “win” in so many exciting and rewarding ways.
Anna Sutter currently serves as the Director of Program Management. The strategic direction and management of the Proven Process service delivery model and program performance indicators (KPIs) are key aspects of Anna’s role. Anna Sutter is an energetic & innovative education advocate with five years of invaluable experience as a school counselor in Indianapolis where she used a radically student-centered and data driven approach to support Hoosier youth. Anna held the role of Director of School Counseling where she led a team of youth serving educators and mental health professionals and managed an award-winning, comprehensive student services program for over 1,800 students. Not only does she hold passion in education, but Anna also gets fired up over mental health, civil rights, and politics. Anna holds a Masters in School Counseling and Bachelors in Psychology, both from Butler University.
Anna’s Mission Moment: My mission moment occurred when I attended one of our Building Dreams school’s Back-to-School night for parents and guardians. Fight for Life Foundation had a station that allowed parents to make sure they could access their Building Dreams Guardian account. One family came to our station and said, “Oh, I know I have an account already! I check it daily. This app helps me feel connected to my son’s school day. I can check how he’s doing when I’m at work.” As a former school counselor who saw a lot of disconnect between school caretakers and home caretakers, it warmed my heart to see parents feel empowered and have trust in their child’s school.