Lara Sedaghat has been involved in being of service to the incarcerated population for over seven years. She's worked with California Prison Focus, a nonprofit organization that works to expose and end human rights abuses against incarcerated people, led resume workshops in San Quentin State Prison's EOP H-Unit, provided cover letter curriculum for Last Mile Org, a program that assists incarcerated individuals prepare for successful re-entry through business and technology training, and established a presentation on how to create resumes, cover letters and prepare for job interviews for BUILD, an NGO that works with under-resourced communities.
Additionally, Lara was asked to present at the National Association for College Admission Counseling in Las Vegas, Nevada to 50+ deans and college counselors on how academic institutions can support formerly incarcerated students. She also spoke at a conference for CARECEN (Central American Resource Center), to 30+ youth on the benefits of higher education, how to apply to and navigate those institutions, while inspiring them to know that they belong and can excel in those environments.
She has conducted extensive research on childhood trauma, the trauma of incarceration and those impacted by it. Her 52 paged thesis on "The Health Impacts of Childhood Trauma in Adulthood and the Re-traumatization of Incarceration," was published at the number one public university in the world, the University of California, Berkeley. She also researched and wrote on "The Effects of Childhood Trauma on Anxiety: How Socioeconomic Status and Social Connectedness Augment or Reduce Anxiety," "Incarcerated Parents: The Psychological, Physical and Financial Impacts on their Children," and "Addressing Food Insecurity in Low-income Communities of Oakland."
Her work has been recognized and awarded by the University of California, Berkeley's Leadership Award twice, the RISE Women's Leadership and Community Service Award, and through the University of California, San Diego Preuss School's Most Influential Humanitarian Award. She is also certified in Usui Reiki and as a Crisis Counselor.
Elevate You Foundation
Elevate You Foundation was founded during Lara Sedaghat's time at the University of California, Berkeley, while obtaining her Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies and writing her thesis on "The Health Impacts of Childhood Trauma in Adulthood and the Re-traumatization of Incarceration." During Lara's academic career at this university, as well as through her own research, she became well-versed in the roots of trauma, the way trauma impacts our physiological, psychological and spiritual wellbeing, and methods that can be used to help heal trauma.
Through her healing and humanitarian work, Lara Sedaghat recognized how housing, food, and employment insecurity played major roles in creating and/or maintaining trauma. To help alleviate these issues, Lara began to create as well as teach the literary, personal, and artistic methods for establishing an impressive resume to significantly increase the chances of securing employment, starting one's business, obtaining a higher education, or any other realized dream that an individual may have.
Because the employment, higher education, and housing markets have all historically been very limiting towards previously incarcerated people, it can be extremely difficult to excel upon re-entry into society. Thus, Elevate You Foundation was created to be of positive service to the currently and formerly incarcerated community in order to reduce recidivism, help alleviate trauma, and make the world a better place through kindness, support, encouragement, and love.