Ordinary to Extraordinary – A Get-It-Done Midwestern Approach to Life
She says ordinary, we say extraordinary. Meet Sarah Damaskos, a practical Midwesterner in New Jersey who inspires with her get-things-done approach to family, friends, and community.
Self-described ‘ordinary person,’ Sarah Damaskos, takes us on an inspiring journey that is extraordinary. She’s an Ohio native who found herself in New Jersey, raising kids, becoming an unofficial foster parent, navigating IEPs in the school system, launching a laptop recycling program, managing a career, supporting friends, and experiencing life’s milestones with a no-nonsense approach sprinkled with a healthy dose of humor. She gets things done!
“Don’t Borrow Trouble” her mother’s
“New Jersey, it’s not as bad as you think”
“I can’t chew gum without cracking it. “
“I’m from Ohio. So, I mean, it’s all about practicality.”
“I’m also a doer. You know, I see a problem and I fix it.”
00:02:38 Embrace your own uniqueness.
00:07:12 Be confident in being yourself.
00:12:42 Life-changing year in South Africa.
00:15:45 Families can overcome obstacles.
00:21:09 Advocate for your child’s education.
00:27:01 Support and resources are crucial.
00:35:43 Creating positive change through conversation.
Title: Embracing Community and Making a Difference: A Conversation with Sarah Damaskos
We delve into a fascinating conversation with Sarah Damaskos, a Montclair resident who has made a significant impact in her community. From hosting unique parties to advocating for children’s education, Sarah’s story is one of resilience, compassion, and the power of community. Join us as we explore her journey and the meaningful initiatives she has been involved in.
Section 1: The Calgon Take Me Away Party
- A unique party concept that brings people together
- The origins of the party and its impact on community connections
- The importance of creating a welcoming and inclusive environment
Section 2: From Ohio to New Jersey
- Relocating from Houston to New Jersey after Enron’s collapse
- Discovering Montclair as the perfect community
- Embracing the vibrant arts scene and local bakeries
Section 3: A Unique High School Experience in South Africa
- Sarah’s year as an exchange student in South Africa
- The impact of attending an integrated Catholic convent school
- Gaining a broader perspective on social issues and cultural diversity
Section 4: Welcoming a Foster Son into the Family
- Taking in a friend of her son’s as a foster child
- Navigating the challenges of the school system and advocating for his education
- The resilience and growth of the entire family through the experience
Section 5: Laptop Upcycle: Empowering Students through Technology
- Sarah’s involvement in the nonprofit organization Laptop Upcycle
- Collecting and refurbishing laptops for students in need
- The positive impact on education and the environment
Section 6: A New Venture: Recycling Solar Panels
- Sarah’s new role in a startup focused on recycling solar panels
- Addressing the challenges of recycling hazardous waste
- The potential for environmental sustainability and job creation
Section 7: Favorite Places and People in New Jersey
- Sarah’s love for the Montclair Art Museum and its art classes
- Appreciation for Wendy’s store, Cornerstone, and its collaboration with Montclair Art Museum
- The sense of community and the amazing people in Montclair
Conclusion: Sarah Damasko’s story is a testament to the power of community, resilience, and making a difference. From hosting unique parties to advocating for education and environmental sustainability, Sarah’s impact in Montclair and beyond is truly inspiring. Her commitment to creating a welcoming and inclusive environment and her dedication to empowering others through technology and education serve as a reminder of the importance of community engagement.