On Monday, July 16th, Trae Holland officially stepped into his role as the Executive Director and Head of School of Safe Passage. Learn more about Trae below as he introduces himself, fills you in on his background, and shares his excitement in joining Safe Passage:

It is my honor and privilege to join my family with yours at Safe Passage.

Before joining Safe Passage in July, I was the Director of Academia Cotopaxi’s ONE Institute in Quito, Ecuador, where I was also a member of the faculty in the areas of Economics, Psychology, and Mathematics. The ONE Institute specializes in applied language instruction, literacy outreach, community and business sector partnerships, community enrichment and providing coaching in student service and leadership.

During my career, I have been a High School and Middle School Principal, Teacher Mentor, Department Head, and have 23 years of classroom experience in both the US and international schools in a multitude of subjects ranging from the Sciences and Mathematics to Philosophy, Economics, and History. My educational specialties and philosophy both focus on personalized learning, special needs, and serving marginalized and at-risk populations.

I also have held the role of Development Director and Educational Program Coordinator for a leading central Florida museum and with certification as a LEED Green Associate, co-founded an award-winning international sustainability and development design firm that led in environmental site design, sustainable construction and renewable energy solutions-oriented projects on 3 continents. I hold a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Mathematics from Davidson College and a Masters in International Relations from Bilgi University in Istanbul, Turkey.

As for my reasons for joining the Safe Passage family, it is not only a realization of my most vital hopes for my career as an educational leader, but in addition, represents the fulfillment of my most cherished dreams as an agent of positive change. In addition to the far-reaching activism, non-profit work, community outreach, advancement, strategic planning, and financial management embedded in my career, I have led in sustainable landfill design as well as the creation of programs to serve waste picker families through entrepreneurial training and family-wide services in Brazil. I have also worked on the board of a leading volunteer medical organization in the US serving marginalized and underserved members of the community.

I write to say unequivocally that Safe Passage is the most complete and perfectly matched opportunity to make the difference I seek in this world as a school-wide leader.

In fact, as I consider my particular body of work and experiences, it is if I have been preparing my entire life and career to be a part of the dream that is Safe Passage. In not only improving lives, but in being committed to the mission of literally saving lives, Safe Passage embodies both the diverse richness of community and the unique power of the individual to create a reality of shared empowerment.

Here, we are teachers, activists, counselors, and providers of critical meals and medical care, but in joining hand in hand with our students and families, we are also builders of a viable future for those who need it most. In essence, Safe Passage is a magical place where through our efforts and collaboration, we become the change we seek.