Lindsay Walz graduated from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities with her Masters in Youth Development Leadership (YDL) in 2013 and her bachelors in Family Social Science and a minor in Youth Studies in 2005. Lindsay’s interest in working with youth stemmed from her personal experience when she was invited to join the board of directors of a non-profit organization at the age of 16. This initial invitation started with free pizza but quickly turned to an opportunity that further inspired her to do the work she currently does today. The experience of feeling heard and valued for her contributions at a young age, provided Lindsay with the tools and confidence to pursue her aspirations to create an organization where youth could lead the way.
After graduating with her bachelor’s degree, she worked at a group home teaching Independent Living Skills to youth aging out of foster care. A few years into her career, she realized that she needed to return to school for more grounding in youth work. Just before her YDL experience began, life as she knew it came crashing down when the 35W bridge collapsed. Surviving the collapse offered her a parallel experience to many of the young people she was working with who were impacted by their own forms of trauma. Healing her own PTSD came into sharp focus during her years in YDL and strongly influenced the direction she took her youth work. In her years of recovery, she leaned on the healing power of art and was emboldened to ensure young people could access those same transformative practices.
Soon after graduating with her Masters degree, she founded Courageous heARTS. Courageous heARTS mission is to illuminate youth as leaders while inspiring creativity, courage. and collaboration throughout the whole community. The organization operates an art studio in south Minneapolis that is led by youth (through their Youth Advisory Board and Creative Community Apprenticeship), where the whole community can access creative tools for personal expression. Lindsay’s YDL roots guide the strategic direction of the organization through their focus on youth leadership, personal transformation, and connection to community.
She hopes to provide anyone and everyone an opportunity to create something whether they feel creative or not- she’s the first to acknowledge her self-doubts in this area! She invites you to participate and learn more about her organization. If anyone is interested in learning more, please feel free to contact Lindsay or check out courageous heARTS. She would be more than happy to connect with you!