Founder & President
As a child, Dawn never played sports, struggled with her weight and hated gym class. Regardless of successes in other areas of her life as she grew, those feelings of inadequacy (in terms of physical activity and body image) resurfaced time and time again.[showhide type=”post” more_text=”Show more…” less_text=”Show less…”]
When Dawn became a mother, she did not want her daughters carrying the same insecurities as she did. She was determined to ensure they prioritized health and wellness. After watching her girls not respond favorably to any structured athletic activity, she was adamant about figuring out why. Through lots of research, she realized the importance of self awareness, and how developing emotional skills could help children thrive in all aspects of their lives. After seeking programs that would teach these critical skills and coming up empty-handed, Dawn created GAALS.
Prior to GAALS, Dawn worked in various capacities with cable companies throughout the world, from writing, producing and directing, to marketing and branding. A 20-year veteran of the television industry, she has garnered dozens of prestigious industry awards.
As the head of on-air creative for History Channel’s international division, Dawn successfully launched more than a dozen international channels and oversaw their local on-air creative teams. Following her five years at History, Dawn produced the rebranding of Bravo and Oxygen, and worked alongside executives at USA, A&E and Syfy on large-scale projects.
Dawn graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. from Ithaca College. In her free time, Dawn enjoys working out, writing, being outdoors and spending time with her daughters, husband and dog Ziggy.
Dawn lives with her family in Port Washington, Long Island, although she is counting the days until she is able to move back to Manhattan, where she lived after college for 17 years. Although Dawn is grateful for the suburban life since it has allowed her to slow down and to develop a daily ritual – hiking with her dog Ziggy – which started her off on her journey to practicing mindfulness. Dawn enjoys writing, bicycling, learning and spending time with her husband and two teenage daughters.
While Aimee’s professional career is in Computer Programming and Consulting (where she runs her own company) what fulfills her is giving back to her community. Over the past 10 years she has volunteered with several children’s organizations [showhide type=”aimee” more_text=”Show more…” less_text=”Show less…”]where she has had the opportunity to work directly with children and positively impact their lives.
Aimee is passionate empowering children which is why she chooses to work with GAALS elementary school girls, and PAALS preschool children. As the mother of a teenage son and two teenage step daughters, she values the importance of helping all children enhance critical life skills that they will need in their lives – which is what the GAALS programming is all about.
Aimee earned her Masters from Cornell University and loves visiting the waterfalls in Ithaca with her husband and children. [/showhide]
Researcher & Writer
Morgan Fuller, recently graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Sports Psychology. She’s continuing her journey and pursuing a Master’s at Boston University.
Morgan grew up as a competitive athlete, [showhide type=”morgan” more_text=”Show more…” less_text=”Show less…”]whose life primarily revolved around one thing…basketball. Her identity was essentially fixed as “Morgan the Basketball Player.” At the time, she found everything about being an athlete fulfilling. It fueled her every move.
But it was only after she was forced to give up what she had spent her whole life becoming that she realized that she had not prepared herself for life beyond basketball. After being stripped of her athlete-status (and going through a very difficult period of lost-identity), Morgan was able to take all that she had gained as an athlete and apply it to other aspects of her life. By doing so, she was able to step outside of her comfort zone and grow in unexpected ways. Morgan’s journey allowed her to understand how crucial it is to live a balanced life.
Morgan’s life goal, “to help develop happy, healthy and successful young kids by combining the power of sport with the concept of Balance.” [/showhide]
Graphic Designer & Assistant Coach
Jenna is a student at the University of Boulder Colorado studying Finance, and minoring in Technology and Media Sciences. As a go-getter, Jenna is interested and growing in all areas, making her a great asset to GAALS.[showhide type=”jenna” more_text=”Show more…” less_text=”Show less…”] She is the creative talent behind many marketing materials, and helps with a wide variety of tasks, from the website to social media. Her passion for creativity extends beyond the business aspect and into the field. You can watch Jenna shine at GAALS events, where she motivates and inspires the children.
Jenna’s deep connection to GAALS stems from her belief that the lessons taught and tools provided would have benefited her when she was a child. She cherishes watching each child’s engagement, and the positive changes as a result of the programs.
Jenna believes in the importance of life balance and believes the best recipe for success is combining health and happiness. She says, if you follow that regimen, all the rest will fall in place. Jenna is an avid skier, loves to hike, and spend time with friends in Colorado and out. [/showhide]
Kaitlyn serves as a Phys Ed teacher in Port Washington Schools, working with children of all ages and backgrounds. She began her career as a Preschool Teacher in New York City where she taught in the classroom and in the gymnasium. [showhide type=”kaitlyn” more_text=”Show more…” less_text=”Show less…”]
Her experience as an educator has provided her with a first-hand account of the relationship between sound body and sound mind – and how they influence each other. Kaitlyn has always believed that physical activity is an important part of life. She credits her involvement with different activities as a child, in helping with time management, along with giving her a platform to express her creative yet competitive nature.In particular, she says, lacrosse – which has always been a large part of her life – taught her about hard work, friendship, teamwork and so much more.
Kaitlyn hopes to help young people be proud of who they are, and find inspiration within themselves. She lives by the words of the great Dr. Seuss, “be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”
In her free time, Kaitlyn enjoys reading, singing along to Taylor Swift songs, and being an aunt to her beautiful nieces and nephew.
Kaitlyn graduated from Adelphi University in 2011 with a degree in Physical Education. While completing her undergraduate studies at Adelphi University, Kaitlyn was a member and captain of the 2009, 2010 and 2011 National Championship Women’s Lacrosse team, garnering many awards and winning several championships. [/showhide]