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Lisa Biggs
Founder and Executive Director

Lisa has spent the past decade traveling and teaching English at schools, orphanages, language institutes and businesses throughout multiple countries. She has coordinated international student administrations as well as developed educational materials and programs. Her work with children internationally inspired her to start Sunflower Bridge. Her mission is to share the voices of children around the world, exploring, sharing and expanding our understanding of what it means to be human.

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Sian Deeble
Secretary and Project Development

Sian has a Masters level English Language Teaching degree through Cambridge University and a Bachelor's in Dance through the University of Surrey. She has taught all ages and levels in Spain, England, Italy, Vietnam, and Malaysia. Having helped thousands of children from all walks of life realize their full potential, Sian is now eager to continue her work on the Sunflower Bridge team.

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Cody Creighton
Artistic Director and Illustrator

Ojai native, Cody, is a talented artist and small business owner. In addition to his successful career in hospitality, Cody creates illustrations, murals, handprinted signs, graphic design and videography for clients in his local community. His passion for fitness, health and wellbeing led him to start a business in personal training and group fitness, a delightful companion to his popular custom decorated cake service!

 
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Violet Winstein
Local Marketing and Women & Girls Advocate

During her career Violet has worked with and advocated for victims of Domestic Violence, Exploitation, and Child Abuse. She believes in the power of helping people find their voice and empowering people to come together to fight injustice. She is honored to be a part of the Sunflower Bridge team and believes we can change the world with one voice and one story at a time.

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Akop Balayan
Treasurer

Akop is a CPA who works with individuals, corporations and nonprofits. He graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2009 where he earned a degree in Economics and a minor in Accounting. In his free time, Akop enjoys running, scuba diving, meditating and spending quality time with friends and family.

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Our Mission and Method

We believe that challenges help us to grow, and with the right mindset and education the biggest obstacles in life can turn into the fastest route to success. We believe teaching children this mindset and how to apply it to their lives will create secure, happy and empowered young people. We combine this education with the timeless human tradition of storytelling to fulfill our mission to connect and empower children internationally.

Our first step is to design educational workshops in collaboration with experts from appropriate fields for groups of children who are facing extreme challenges in life. These workshops teach the children how to turn those around to their advantage. Not only does this help them tackle the problem they’re currently facing, but it teaches them to approach every challenge they face with that attitude and develop deep resilience, growth mindset and problem-solving skills. One of the most fulfilling things you can do after navigating life’s challenges, is share your experiences with others so they can learn from you and transform their own lives. This approach is the difference from feeling powerless and being a victim of your circumstances, to being a powerful, intentional creator of your own life and future while also being able to make a profound contribution to the lives of others.

We want the children we work with to experience this, so every workshop we run includes a story creation piece. The children are presented with the first part of a story featuring Sunny the Sunflower Seed, who is facing a challenge similar to theirs. The children work with our team of teachers, authors and artists to create their own characters to become Sunny’s friends and teach him how to turn his challenges into an advantages like they have. Sunflower Bridge takes these amazing tales from these brave young role-models and publishes beautiful storybooks to share this with other children. The books contain professional illustrations of the children’s creations as well as background art created by other children. The children-writers get to see their books in libraries, schools and homes-knowing that their contribution has had a positive impact on others, empowering them further.

We believe that strong, secure, empowered and compassionate children are the key to a bright future for all of humanity, and we are dedicated to making that a reality for every child.