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RedBird Scholarship Winner!

RedBird Scholarship Winner!

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Meet Sarah Vaught, our 2015 RedBird Scholarship recipient! Sarah is third grade teacher at Oak Springs Elementary.  She works with children living in the East Austin neighborhood of the Booker T. Washington Housing Development. Over 98 percent of their students receive free or reduced lunches and are considered socioeconomically disadvantaged.

“This is very rewarding work, but intensely stressful,” says Sarah. “Schools with populations such as these are under the microscope for passing standardized test scores and our school receives so little funding, teachers must step in to every role. As a result, I often end up having a twelve-hour workday.”

With the RedBird scholarship, Sarah will receive an initial assessment, six-months unlimited class package and an Intro to reformer series. Sarah is using the scholarship to make a commitment to herself and her health.

After two months at RedBird this is what Sarah has learned so far…

How has scholarship impacted your everyday life?

“The RedBird scholarship has had a very positive impact on my everyday life, both physically and mentally. Since beginning my classes I’ve had more energy, become more active in my free time, and have learned to let go of undo stress in order to focus on my own wellness. The scholarship has also made me more conscious of the importance of movement throughout the day, which has inspired me to implement more time for physical activity in my classroom. I have seen marked improvement in the focus of my students all because I have given them the opportunity to be active during the school day.”

What is something you have learned so far at RedBird – about movement or yourself?  
“One of the most useful concepts that I have taken away from my classes at RedBird is the focus on proper alignment. Even as a former dancer, I had never paid such careful attention to where I was generating movement from, and if I was utilizing the correct muscle groups. Now, whether I am running, playing tennis, swimming, or even driving home from work, I feel myself applying the Pilates alignment and releasing tension in my neck and shoulders. This has had a huge impact on my endurance during exercise, especially when I am running.”

What program/s do you enjoy most and why?
“It is hard to choose a favorite program because each one is unique in its focus and benefit. I enjoy mat classes because you can concentrate on proper alignment and breathing, allowing you to fine tune the precision in your movement. But I also greatly enjoy the body engineering classes because they are challenging and fun! The hour you spend flies by and each time you find out that you’re stronger than you thought you were.

RedBird is special in how knowledgable and motivational the teachers are. In every class I attend I feel as if I were receiving a private lesson because I always receive feedback, even when the class is full. I get more and more out of the exercises each time because the teachers help me improve in ways that are unique to me, and because they explain the movement in such great detail. 

I would encourage everyone to take the opportunity to experience a class at RedBird. I understand how hard it can be to get yourself back into a fitness routine but it is well-worth it! The teachers will help you get the most out of the exercises no matter your fitness level. It has been a blast, and I can’t wait to continue to grow in my practice for the next four months!”