LEADER SPOTLIGHT: Elizabeth Yarnell
Tell us about your organization, its mission, and your role.
Creative Technologies for Kids (CT4K) is a 501c3 with a mission to provide opportunities for kids to learn from STEAM activities that integrate art and creativity with technology. I'm the founder/President. CT4K teams with innovative programs to fulfill this mission, such as with the digital storytelling programs designed by Digistars® Make-a-Movie Workshop in this summer's Kids Quarantine Film Festival featuring stop motion animation.
What are some of the biggest challenges your organization faces in its operations, and how did you overcome them?
One of the biggest challenges has been pivoting our programming to be completely delivered online versus the in-person programs we've led since 2010. I've immersed myself in this process and now we have already designed and posted five courses, with the next one currently under development. The other major challenge has been in promoting the opportunities available for kids.
Is there anything you would have done differently when starting up or running your organization?
Interesting question, but the world has radically changed since I launched this movement, and changed in ways that no one could have predicted. A year ago, no one was looking for an online summer camp for their ten-year old!
What does leadership mean to you? Describe how you lead.
I look at my role as one of supporting and empowering my team. I want to give them the tools and knowledge to succeed in their work for me as well as in their own lives. I model my expectations of respect, responsibility, and initiative for my team and begin each team meeting with 3 questions: What's working for you? What's not working for you? What could be working better? This ritual allows me to better support my team by allocating resources where they are needed and being responsive to their challenges. Additionally, I view myself as active team member, and not someone giving orders from above.
What would you say to girls or young women who are interested in making a difference or considering leadership?
Women make fantastic leaders because they are often more aware of team needs and more responsive to team input. Don't be afraid to lead, and if you're not given the opportunity, go ahead and create the opportunity for yourself to make a difference.
Who inspires you?
Where can we learn more about what you do?
Digistars® Make-a-Movie Workshop: https://digistarsworkshop.com/
More about you (bio):
Dr. Elizabeth Yarnell is a board-certified naturopath who helps people suffering from Multiple Sclerosis or other autoimmune diseases improve their health through natural therapies. Her award-winning cookbook (Glorious One-Pot Meals: A Revolutionary New Quick and Healthy Approach to Dutch Oven Cooking; Clarkson-Potter) introduces her unique, patented method of cooking as has sold more than 60,000 copies. As a multi-passionate entrepreneur and 30 years of experience as a multimedia educator, she's focused on nurturing creativity in kids through STEAM experiences. She's the CEO and Founder of Digistars® Make-a-Movie Workshop, which has graduated thousands of elementary and middle school students in more than 35 schools, as well as the Founder and President of Creative Technologies for Kids. She's also a mom of two teens and has been living and thriving with MS since 1999.