Olga Ferguson                 Margaret McDonnell             Ian Barron                 Vartika Chaudry Yadav    Selina McDermott Saidh

Olga Ferguson, Head Advisor, holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design and Juris Doctor from Fordham Law School. Olga currently works as a legal translator, ghostwriter, and proofreader. She has ample experience in economic development, project management and investor relations. Olga is fluent in Spanish and French and has worked at the United Nations, Sotheby’s, and the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore. She is passionate about education, language and the arts. As an artist herself, Olga loves to break down forms, observe, study and discover objects from different angles. Thus, her art serves as a metaphor—reminding us to look at objects, people and life itself from multiple angles and perspectives. Olga has an eye for design and prefers to work in mixed media, as it keeps her from feeling limited by technique or expectation.  A nature-lover, Olga loves the outdoors and travel. She divides her time between Maryland, New York, Puerto Rico and Europe.

Ian Barron, Educational Advisor, is a pharmacist by trade and has post graduate qualifications in statistics. He has a PhD in epidemiology and has overseen the work of PhD candidates at Trinity College. A native of Dublin, Ireland, Ian lived in Baltimore, Maryland for 11 years. During part of his tenure in the US, he worked at the Johns Hopkins School of Health. He also volunteered at St. Casimir’s School on a regular basis, team-teaching cross-curricular classes with Kate McElderry. Their classes blended art and science topics for a variety of ages. Informally, Ian has taught computer programming classes for children and spear-headed countless community projects and learning opportunities ranging from hiking clubs to kinetic sculptures. He is a believer in multi-sensory learning and active life experiences that help people of all ages embrace and thrive from challenge. Ian invites challenge and adventure in his own life, traveling the world on rigorous and exciting expeditions. He resides in Cork, Ireland with his family, is involved with the Maker Space community and serves as educational advisor for Flourish projects.

Margaret McDonnell, Treasurer, works in the Pharmaceutical industry helping expand patient access to medicines globally. She has many years of experience in Corporate Treasury, having qualified with a Post Graduate degree in Business Management from Smurfit College, University College Dublin, Ireland. A native of Galway, Ireland, Margaret has lived in New York and now resides in Dublin.  As a mother to budding artists, Seán and Ahna, she is passionate about opening their minds to new ways of learning; recognizing their intellectual  and creative gifts, and ability to flourish with innovative and fresh teaching methodologies they also enjoy. Margaret has been instrumental in helping oversee many behind the scenes logistics of Flourish projects, like Dyslexia Empowerment Workshop and more. She uses her professional and home experience to support Flourish, acting as Treasurer of projects. Margaret also acts in an advisory capacity to support operations and help broaden children’s access to learning resources. Besides Margaret’s professional qualifications, she is an accomplished singer within a highly musical, creative family. 

Vartika Chaudry Yadav, Educational Advisor, holds a degree in business administration and has been a teacher for over 5 years. She taught as a substitute teacher for students with learning differences at The Odyssey School and is currently teaching at the Friends School of Baltimore. Vartika is also completing her graduate studies at John Hopkins University. Born and raised in India, Vartika lived in Australia for a number of years. She currently lives in Baltimore, Maryland. Vartika is a life-long learner and has a strong passion for teaching. She believes that children learn in many different ways ; one size does not fit all. Moreover, she believes that each child is unique and thus the optimal combination of different learning methods are different for each individual. Vartika is highly knowledgeable in Mindfulness; its role in education, mental health, and wellbeing. Vartika also has experience volunteering in youth sports such as Cricket. In her free time, she enjoys exploring nature and  keeping up with her family’s active lifestyle. Vartika uses her business background, as well as English and Mathematics teaching experience  in an advisory capacity for Flourish.

Selina McDermott Saidha, Parent Liaison, has a background in Human Resource Management. She graduated in 2003 from the National College of Ireland with a BA (Hons) in Accounting & Human Resource Management. Selina then went on to work for a large multinational organization supporting HR policy in Ireland, EMEA and later specialized in the area of Talent Management Globally. Selina loves working with people, problem solving, and bringing projects to successful completion. Additionally, she loves considering the power of mindsets; with a Growth Mindset we continually evolve, elevate, and improve in the areas  in which we apply ourselves. A mum to three vibrant and energetic girls, Selina and husband--co-parent and  "wing-man,"  are based in Maryland, USA. Together, they enjoy educating  their children. Selina helps bring  a parental perspective to projects and outreach work. Her hobbies include running and spending time in nature. She especially enjoys the company of others who bring out the best in others and help one flourish

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Advisory Committee