Meet TSG Governing Board Member, Maria Rassiwalla
By: Natalie F.
TSG team recently had the delight of interviewing Maria Rassiwalla, a new addition to the TSG Governing Board! Maria, a former teacher and an artist is a busy bee that loves to contribute her time to non-profit organizations to help spread positivity all around. Please continuing reading below to find out more information about her.
Where are you from and what brought you to Chicago? I am a Chicago-suburb native and spent my post college years living near Wrigley Field. I moved away shortly after and resided in a few different areas including Philadelphia, San Francisco, Ghana, France, Singapore and eventually moved back to Chicago in 2013 for work and family.
What is your professional background and what do you currently do for a living? I taught in the Chicago Public School system for a few years early in my career. Subsequently I ran and directed the Out-of-School Time departments for a variety of non profit organizations in San Francisco and Chicago, similar to TSG. Most recently, after having two young children, I consult for a number of non-profit-organizations, serve as a board member, and started my own business in the hospitality arena.
How do you connect to the arts? I was a credentialed art teacher for a number of years working with K-8 youth and often created my own work during downtime. I now seek out as many theater performances as I can and visit my pottery studio when I’m able to carve out the time. My current creative outlet is designing and furnishing homes. As you can see I have an affinity to the entire gamut of arts.
What has it meant to you to be a member of The Simple Good Board? It has allowed me to combine my passion for service, non profits, art, international connectedness, and youth development. I am lucky enough to serve an organization that truly blends all my passions in one. Early in my career I was able to go to Ghana and do direct service work by implementing an arts program at a local school and orphanage. I’ve been looking for ways to revisit that service aspect of my life as well as fold in my life experience.
What impact have you seen being made by The Simple Good? Via classroom observations, I see how TSG’s curriculum equips youth with the tools and power to be a part of their community. TSG learnings give youth hope to be able to construct their lives in a positive manner. They are able to say, “I can change my life, my community and my surroundings.” This program fosters positivity, compassion, connectedness, and expression and as a result makes more well rounded members of society.
What does ‘the simple good’ mean to you? My simple good is to be fulfilled with the present, without looking forward or backwards.
You can follow Maria on social media
Instagram — marzbarz81
Interested in supporting The Simple Good? Help us make an impact by donating here.