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Conversations with the Inspiring Sara Pelaez

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sara Pelaez.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My personal vision has always led me to empower individuals in all facets of their personal, social, academic and work lives. This purpose has been ingrained in me since childhood. Growing up in a multi-cultural family enabled me to recognize our delightful differences and the struggles that come from it. My mother’s influence includes a Colombian heritage, a Catholic upbringing and the Spanish language. In contrast, my father is a Middle-Eastern Muslim and always spoke Arabic. We made our home in the Caribbean for the first 13 years of my life and then we moved to Chicago. I lived in Chicago for 40 years and now, very recently, I moved to Georgia. It has been my experience to intertwine multi-cultural worlds that shared very similar values even if they operated on different beliefs. Daily, I enjoy the intimate understanding of how diverse and wonderful cultures can be. I expand on this kind of understanding through my daily experience with my clients.

In my personal and professional life and through training, I have always strived to be part of a dynamic learning community that speaks to my creative and intellectual energy. Counseling and coaching speak this language and it resonates at a very personal level. I enjoy making a difference in my community by going beyond the personal and bridging science and practice. In my practice, I integrate the research aspects of the human experience and in turn facilitate the process with clarity to a level by which my community feels supported and better understood.

I have always pursued my love for empowering others with tenacious veracity. Through daily practice with my clients, I bring experience, focused intention, a quieted reflective mind and a well-defined interest in couples and the individuals in my care. I am committed to the search for knowledge for it supports the culmination of my life’s purpose. My experiences, lifetime pursuits, and multi-ethnic background have given me an understanding of the challenges faced by many from a vantage point that not everybody gets to enjoy. I have a tremendous affinity for the people in my care and their future and it has always been my goal to be an asset to the communities I’ve joined.

As I become older, my resolve drives me to serve and leave behind a meaningful legacy. This is a pursuit that can take a lifetime — a never-ending work-in-progress. I welcome this; I am a lifelong learner committed to my own personal and professional development. I hope to be the catalyst — the ocean behind the wave — and to live and lead others towards a purposeful and fulfilling life.

In my work life, I work wear many hats. As a bilingual counselor and psychotherapist, I work with individuals, couples, families, and groups to help them overcome a range of psychological and behavioral health issues. Create personal treatment plans and a variety of non-medical-based treatments to address the client’s thought processes, feelings and behavior; understand inner conflicts; find new ways to deal with and alleviate distress.

As a leadership and executive coach, I provide the tools by which individuals feel empowered to develop personally and professionally. Through a process of inquiry, dialogue and examination, I serve as a thought partner. The focus of the coaching relationship is to create new ways of thinking and engage a client in taking action-steps to achieve his or her goals.

As a consultant, I have worked on a variety of projects and executed on several roles including; director, manager, speaker, trainer, facilitator, creator of training programs, talent management, and leadership and executive coach.

Life is an exciting and challenging journey that I am most passionate about. I am grateful to those who share the walk with me.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has not been a smooth road. Pain is the most effective teacher. I was an only child for ten years and although the lessons of my youth from being so culturally diverse have been wonderful and made me the person that I am today they were a double edge sword. Maya Angelo has a terrific quote “You’re only free when you realize you belong no place – you belong to every place – no place at all. The price is high. The reward is great.” Taking the time to own my worthiness has truly helped find my place. I belong to myself and I belong everywhere. I was to become to others what I desperately needed for myself. A beacon of hope, support, and unconditional positive regards. Through this journey though, I have been incredibly blessed to have a loving spouse and family that loved and supported me giving me and the foundations of a really strong sense of who I am and who I am meant to be. Taking the time to truly search deep down inside how your experiences have shaped you and in reshaping-reframing those experiences so that they empower you is key to owning your truth. This is the one thing I impart to my participants through leadership coaching.

What should we know about NWCG? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
In my work life, I work wear many hats. As a bilingual counselor and psychotherapist, I work with individuals, couples, families, and groups to help them overcome a range of psychological and behavioral health issues. Create personal treatment plans and a variety of non-medical-based treatments to address the client’s thought processes, feelings and behavior; understand inner conflicts; find new ways to deal with and alleviate distress.

As a leadership and executive coach, I provide the tools by which individuals feel empowered to develop personally and professionally. Through a process of inquiry, dialogue and examination, I serve as a thought partner. The focus of the coaching relationship is to create new ways of thinking and engage a client in taking action-steps to achieve his or her goals.

As a consultant, I have worked on a variety of projects and executed on several roles including; director, manager, speaker, trainer, facilitator, creator of training programs, talent management, and leadership and executive coach.

Who do you look up to? How have they inspired you?
My mother, for she was love personified, my sister, she is a firefighter-paramedic for the City of Chicago. Total badass! Mother Teresa for her tenacious search for the divine through her work with the poor. Oprah Winfrey for she defied everything that seems possible for a minority. J.K. Rowling, she personifies “it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish” and it is never too late. Marie Curie, for empowering a new generation of STEM students.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Sara K. Pelaez

Getting in touch: VoyageATL is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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