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Meet Sarah Bales, Class of 2014

For Sarah Bales, Class of 2014, Wildwood means family–literally. Her earliest memories as a toddler are of accompanying her parents as they walked her older brother Davey to his kindergarten classroom every day.

Three years later, Sarah followed in his footsteps, but the familial connection doesn’t end there. Their mother, Melissa Weber Bales, joined Wildwood’s performing arts faculty in 2002, making it a true family affair.

“In so many ways, Wildwood really is a home away from home,” Sarah says. “Whenever we are all together, we reminisce on the amazing memories we have together and this continued bond. I’m incredibly grateful to be able to share this experience.”

At Wildwood, I learned about self-advocacy, self-reflection, and effective collaboration, all of which have been key parts of being an impactful team member throughout my career thus far.- Sarah Bales, Class of 2014

Sarah's Wildwood education has had an indelible impact on her career path. After graduating from Tufts University with a degree in International Relations and Spanish, Sarah returned to Los Angeles where she’s taken on a new role in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) at a healthcare tech company.

“From the beginning of my time at Wildwood, there was an emphasis on the importance of DEIB programming and initiatives, as well as providing space for dialogue around equity, multiculturalism, and allyship,” Sarah says. “We had incredible access to influential speakers, performers, and curriculum that instilled in me a passion for advancing this work.”

Sarah found plenty of opportunities to incubate this passion while at Wildwood, where she was a leader of the Human Rights Task Force and started her own community service initiative, Project Spread the Word, which raises awareness about various social injustices. 

“Everything I learned at Wildwood is always top-of-mind when I’m supporting colleagues, developing training, or curating programming,” Sarah says. “I’ve reached out to current and former Wildwood teachers for guidance and partnered with some of the same organizations that support Wildwood’s DEIB efforts. These learnings and relationships have helped me jump into this work with more knowledge and understanding.”

Sarah also credits Wildwood’s emphasis on mastery and skill-building for her success in college and the workplace.

“Wildwood taught me to think critically, write analytically, and ask challenging questions,” Sarah says. “I learned to always approach new material with a focus on depth over breadth, analyzing each concept until I truly understood the content rather than memorizing the facts.”

That focus on depth also applies to the deep connection she feels with fellow Wildwood alumni.

“To this day, the friends I met at Wildwood are also people I consider family,” Sarah says. “I met some of my greatest mentors and friends there, and these lifelong friendships remain one of the most important parts of my Wildwood experience.”