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Staff Spotlight: Sarah Burdell

Lidia Harding
School-based Staff Spotlight
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Inspired by Helping Coworkers

Several years ago, Sarah found herself counseling many of her former coworkers into more fulfilling career paths. She realized that she had a talent for helping others find their passion and get unstuck. In a mid-life decision, Sarah chose to go back to school to become a therapist who worked with executives to find their path and sustainable leadership styles.

Inspired by a Young Client

As Sarah wrapped up her graduate internship at Vashon Youth and Family Services, a teen-aged client asked Sarah about her future. She told them her plan to work with wounded warriors and executives to help them become better leaders.

She still remembers the youth’s reply vividly, “That’s stupid. You’re so good with teens.” That teen helped Sarah realize that she could fulfill her personal motto of being a “champion for children” through work as a therapist.

Inspiration Led to YES

Today, Sarah Burdell is the YES Behavioral Health Therapist at the Highland Middle School Health Center. In her role, she is the center’s co-occurring counselor and works in collaboration with International Community Health Services’ (ICHS) nurse practitioner, health educator, clinic coordinator, and the dental team. Sarah is thrilled to be a part of a team that supports all aspects of Highland Middle School students’ health.

“I had no idea how powerful this experience would be. It’s the biggest honor to be present with these students,” Sarah said. “All these kids want to be better, but they don’t know how to do it. I’ve never had an angry teenager, only ones that feel like they haven’t been heard. By working in their school I can collaborate with teachers, school counselors, and administration to change these students’ lives.”

Team of Experts

The YES team consists of licensed Masters-level therapists, including dually-certified Substance Use Disorder Specialists, and psychiatrists.

Meet our staff.

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