The Class of 2019

Sally English

Clubhouse Regional Director, Hampden County, Viability Inc.; Age 36; Education: Holyoke Community College (AA), UMass Amherst (BA), Boston College (MSW)

Sally English

Sally English

What did you want to be when you grew up? As a child, I wanted to be a farmer, specifically on a horse farm. Through middle and high school, I wanted to be a journalist.

How do you define success? Success is setting goals and then beating them, but not only for myself. A big part of success is teaching and supporting those in my life to reach their own goals.

What three words best describe you? Authentic, intense, strong. I’ve also been told that ‘sally’ is fitting.

What are you passionate about? Connecting people and creating community. I love building teams and seeing how people go from consistently asking for guidance or how to do something to being able to make decisions and act on their own. Providing people, especially those with disabilities, with opportunities and seeing them grow. In a less existential sense, I love being physically active. I play roller derby, horseback ride, hike, and run consistently. I spend as much time as possible outdoors.

Who has been your best mentor, and why? My first supervisor out of grad school, Courtland Townes III, was and continues to be a positive influence on me. Courtland has a way of providing perspective on situations that helped me to understand myself and how my actions could lead to desired outcomes. He was able to give me confidence, but also keep me in line. He taught me how to be tough but fair, navigate internal politics, and (try to) keep a work/life balance. Before working with Courtland, I thought I should keep details about my personal life private from my staff. But with his guidance, I learned how to be professional but also be human and show my personality.

What person, past or present, would you like to have lunch with, and why? I am torn between Anthony Bourdain and Eleanor Roosevelt. Anthony Bourdain has such an amazing story, and I feel that, as much as he shared through his shows, he had even more to offer. I would love to discuss his experiences abroad, as they seem much more authentic than other travel shows — plus he would pick a great place to eat. Eleanor Roosevelt because of all she did to support her husband, her activist role, and her humbleness through it all.


Photography by Leah Martin Photography