These are all words that apply to Sam Beard, founder of Delaware Changing Lives, and advisor of 8 US presidents. After 50 years of service, Sam experienced a personal crisis that led him to begin a 5-year journey. This journey took Sam through many different paths, from the mystical to the medical and brought him to GIFT Global, an organization that promotes mindfulness and other brain sciences.
In 2018, Sam founded Delaware Changing Lives, which serves as a testing ground for breakthrough brain sciences fostered by supportive local leadership. In an interview with Delaware Business Times, Sam described this initiative.
“Beard said his original goal was to make Delaware the ‘first mindful state,’ but then expanded the scope after talking to First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney, who ‘helped sign up every top elected official to get behind this stuff. There’s no other state in the union that can say that. We’re calling it Delaware Changing Lives and focusing on trauma recovery, social-emotional learning, then our mindfulness and then Zero to Three,’ which is about early childhood development.”
Delaware Changing Lives has made some great strides in promoting and spreading the positive impacts and science behind mindfulness in general, and now the organization is adding Zero to Three, or early childhood development, to its list of focus areas. Zero to Three focuses on providing children with the experiences they need to develop and fulfill their potential, as well as providing parents with the tools and education they need to provide those experiences.
Sam reminds us, “Eighty percent of your cognitive capacity is determined by the third birthday. And after the third birthday, for the most part, you can never catch up.”
Knowing how critical those early years, it would be difficult to not prioritize early childhood development, and Delaware Changing Lives works with many local partners and collaborators to make breakthroughs and spread awareness about Zero to Three. For Delaware Changing Lives, Zero to Three is the way we change outcomes for future generations, while mindfulness training is how we help the trauma, stress, and/or suffering of the current generation.
Sam Beard’s vision and drive are a big part of what makes Delaware Changing Lives so successful. “Sam’s energy and enthusiasm are remarkable,” said First Lady Carney. “I think he’s really four 20-year-olds.”
To learn more about Sam, visit sambeard.org.