Founder Sara Wroblewski was inspired to create One Bead after a philanthropic experience in college, which gave her ownership over a service project while studying abroad. Essential to her success was the agency she had over her project; she had a say. The self-awareness that Sara gained in college gave her a deeper understanding of her own resiliencies. However, for at-risk youth, college if often too late. This realization is what inspired Sara to design programming intended for elementary and middle school-aged students. At One Bead, we start by listening to our students. How often are 4th-graders asked about their experiences with stereotypes at school or violence in their neighborhoods? And how often do adults take the time to help students address these issues? It is through creating spaces for youth to share their experiences, voice their concerns, and hear the stories of others that we enable them to develop trust, empathy, and self-confidence, all of which are essential to healthy interpersonal growth and academic development.
Our mission is to prove that one student, just like one bead, can be a catalyst for change anywhere in the world.
Our Youth Leadership Program
Sara’s service learning experience is the inspiration behind our innovative model for programming - one that gives youth an opportunity to positively impact their own community, while being introduced to topics such as finance, marketing, and public speaking. Our program, which recognizes the varying social and emotional capacities of each student, does not define success by academic achievement. More often than not, students who struggle in the classroom see One Bead as a separate space where they can speak bravely without inhibitions. Read more about our Youth Leadership Program and the projects our elementary and middle school aged students take on in their communities.
At One Bead, we are committed to finding spaces for our students to voice their opinions, beliefs, and ideas about what is happening in the world around them. In 2017, we partnered with TEDxYouth @BeaconStreet for the first time. We quickly saw the value of platform as a place for our youth to share their personal narratives. We source Youth Speakers from our established program partners and coach our Youth Speakers as they become role models for the next generation of youth leaders. Read more about the Youth Voices in our community here…
30 High St.
Hudson, OH 44236
(With appointment only)
79 Gainsborough St.
Boston, MA 02115
Why One Bead?
The name "One Bead" is symbolic of our Founder's own philanthropic experience in Kenya. In 2011, Sara collaborated with Kenyan artisan, Anselm Croze on a service project supporting Anselm’s local community. Sara led fundraising efforts for this initiative by selling Anselm's handmade, recycled glass beads to friends and family members back home. The intrinsic leadership qualities that developed in Sara as a result of this hands-on, service-based learning quickly became apparent. The organization started with one bead and one opportunity to make a difference in Kenya. Now, that bead is a symbol of inspiration and a catalyst for change in communities around the globe. Anselm continues to be an invaluable mentor to Sara and has maintained a firm belief in the organization’s mission and vision.