Playmaker Spotlight – Emily Saul


Emily Saul has never believed in rowing it alone.

Maybe that’s why at a critical point in her own personal and professional development (pursuing her undergraduate degree at The University of Tulsa) she got as much education from being in the boat, as she did from the classroom.

Emily rowed, and the profound experience of navigating unchartered waters as a team provided her with a sound direction for the rest of her life.

According to Emily, by the time she headed to graduate school here in Boston:

“I believed that if EVERYBODY could participate on a team sport that the world would be a better place. And I didn’t quite know how, but I knew that team play had to start as soon as possible. It had to start with kids.”

Armed with the skills she’d gained from school and the support of a few trusted mentors at Boston University’s Masters of Counseling & Sport Psychology program, Emily found herself interning at the Academy of Physical and Social Development- a child and adolescent agency that works to promote self-esteem and confidence through social, psychological, and physical competence.

Up until this point, Emily had NEVER worked with kids and was terrified to find herself now “in charge,” of multiple play groups and interacting with hundreds of children a week.

“I learned a lot. In the beginning, I was uncomfortable and overwhelmed, AND, I had really good supervision. Which taught me that we all need a guide. I learned that if I stayed open to being uncomfortable, I learned even more and learned it more quickly, too. And I learned that being a trusted guide to these kids also meant being their teammate.   I taught them and they taught me.”

Emily’s compassion and connection to her work, and more importantly to the children she cared for caught the attention of a clinical social worker named Steve Gross, who was just beginning to build a movement to support childcare professionals and spread the power of optimism.

Steve Gross, Founder of The Life is Good Kids Foundation & our Playmaker Program is very clear on why he asked Emily to join the team: “Emily is a warrior – but a different kind of warrior. Emily’s a Joy Warrior. A Fun Warrior. A Love Warrior. A Warrior for Good. She has exceptionally high standards for herself and her work, and she works thoughtfully and diligently to meet them. Emily is a powerful woman – you can see that on the outside, but she’s even more powerful on the inside.”

For more than 8 years now, Emily Saul has been an instrumental Playmaker for The Life is Good Kids Foundation and the childcare organizations and professionals we serve. Her presence and perseverance is a constant and loving reminder that TOGETHER we can (and do and will) continue to make life good.

The LiGKF is honored to share Emily’s story and invites you to send our teammate a note of gratitude and encouragement by clicking the submit button below.