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Empowering Talent

CHIC & Launch

Reimagining Talent in Education


As former teachers, Justin Darnell and Sarah Rauenhorst cofounded Launch Network to design microschools, small learning environments within existing schools, that could serve students whose needs weren’t being met academically or social-emotionally. Launch has grown from a microschool within a school to a full school model at Stedman, with plans to support elementary schools within the Northeast Park Hill neighborhood. They are expanding the definition of “talent in education” to encompass more than just teachers. At Stedman, Launch surrounds its students with a caring and diverse network of adults, from community partners to care givers, who students can turn to for lifelong support.

One of those community partners is fellow Margulf grantee Collaborative Healing Initiative within Communities (CHIC). CHIC was founded in 2017 by Sadé Cooper and Hilari Smith when they recognized the scarcity of service providers celebrating women of color or addressing the intersectional challenges they faced. Today, CHIC partners with schools to offer social emotional cultural support for students and wraparound services for their families. At Stedman, the CHIC staff has built lifelong relationships with students by providing in-school enrichment that instills positive identity, mindfulness, and self-efficacy and by offering school- and community-based health, wellness, and employment supports that empower families.

CHIC & Launch are building supportive networks of adults who foster students’ development.

For more information visit:

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