Sarah Spunt is a licensed clinical social worker and the Executive Director at LIFT-Chicago, a national nonprofit that empowers families to break the cycle of poverty. At LIFT, she is responsible for cultivating new key partnerships; building and sustaining relationships with new and existing donors and supporters; and leading the development of LIFT-Chicago’s strategic plan in concert with the Program Staff and the LIFT-Chicago Regional Advisory Board. Sarah is currently a Partner Project Director for the National Center for Parent, Family, and Community Engagement and the Co-Chair of the Family Economic Mobility Steering Committee, and a member Behavior and Trauma Informed Care Workgroup within the Office of Head Start National Centers. Additionally, Sarah is the the Co-Chair for the IL Cash Coalition, part of the IL Economic Security Project which focuses on expanding direct cash assistance programs in the City of Chicago and the State if Illinois.
Prior to being the Executive Director, Sarah was LIFT-Chicago’s program lead. In this role, she was tasked with designing LIFT’s two-generational program model in Chicago. She used the Lean Design method and behavioral science to implement and evolve programmatic pilots to align with the strategic shift of LIFT’s mission to work with families with young children. Sarah works closely with LIFT’s National Program Team to create a program and evaluation framework to track progress against regional and national goals, targets, and milestones. She has created trainings for direct service staff and volunteers on topics including motivational interviewing, de-escalation, suicidality and best practice protocol, working with victims of domestic violence, and self-care.
Sarah has over a decade of experience working in nonprofits, schools and local governments. She holds a professional educator license – school social worker endorsement and a certification in yoga-informed psychotherapy. Sarah served on Star Early’s Policy Council for three years as a community representative. volunteers her time with a Between Friends, a Chicago non-profit focused on breaking the cycle of violence in families and communities, to assist with fundraising and event planning.
Prior to LIFT, Sarah worked for Hanover Township Youth and Family Services in Bartlett, Illinois as a clinical interventionist. While there, Sarah created and implemented a school-based substance abuse education and prevention program and conducted family therapy. Additionally, Sarah was an AmeriCorps*VISTA with the International Book Project, a Lexington, Kentucky nonprofit that promotes literacy, education and global friendships by sending books throughout the developing world.
Sarah holds a master’s degree in social work from Loyola University Chicago and a bachelor’s in secondary social studies education from the University of Kentucky.
In her free time, Sarah is most likely at a Chicago dog park or patio with her mini goldendoodle, training for a triathlon, or planning her next travel adventure.