Michelle Verdi-Knapp

Founder/ Executive Director

The first Social Worker at Pasco County’s first Alternative School, providing individual and family counseling for students with emotional, behavioral, and learning deficits including EH, SED, and LD. Developed school’s curriculum with an intense focus on Social Emotional Learning. Sallie Mae First Year Teacher of the Year Nominee, Pasco County; Rookie of the Year, Schwettman Education Center.

Ph.D. in Social Welfare at Florida International University (FIU) with a focus on Juvenile Justice while simultaneously acting as Field Practicum Coordinator for the School of Social Work and facilitating that department’s re-accreditation process. Created Tours of Vision, a student tour group company leading thousands of students on a mission of transforming the way they see themselves and their world through travel. Created a creative arts youth empowerment program titled “Students Rock” and hosted a weekly radio show of the same title with call-in questions from students across South Florida.

Conducts group mindfulness and meditation with students at Sunrise Middle School and with E-Sports Athletes at Next Level Gaming.

Community Involvement/ Activism: City of Fort Lauderdale Education Advisory Board Member; PTA Member Virginia Shuman Young (VSY) and Sunrise Middle School; SAC Member VSY and Sunrise Middle School; Gifted Advisory Council Representative for VSY and Sunrise Middle School; Make a Miracle Board Member – responsible for school supplies and Holiday gifts for every child at Title 1 Northside Elementary School in Fort Lauderdale.

Michele strongly believes in instilling our children with the knowledge that they are powerful and that schools are the most fertile ground for instilling that knowledge. Children should know they do have control over their response to their circumstances, despite the appearance of those circumstances. This knowledge and understanding can greatly impact their behavior, achievements, and self-worth, thereby directly impacting our schools and communities. These children can evolve into adulthood with the tools necessary to be contributing, well-adjusted members of society.

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