My passion in this field began at an early age, as I was surrounded by programs that exposed me to diverse career paths, cultures, and the power of social support and community connectedness. Growing up in New Orleans, I flourished within a nurturing community that provided unwavering support. However, Hurricane Katrina's devastating impact changed everything, thrusting me into one of the most challenging periods of my life. The storm stripped away the familiar, causing unimaginable loss and upheaval.
Ironically, it was during this tumultuous time that I first encountered evaluation and research as scientists sought to understand the experiences of young Katrina survivors. However, this initial encounter left me feeling disconnected and disheartened. It lacked the empathy and human connection needed to truly capture the essence of personal stories. As I matured and progressed in my education career, my hurt transformed into inquisitiveness. I became determined to explore how evaluation and research could facilitate learning, healing, and positive change. In graduate school, I pursued degrees in public health with concentrations in behavioral and community health sciences, immersing myself in the foundational elements of behavioral change, effective interventions, fundraising, and participatory methodologies for evaluation. These approaches were centered on equity, empathy, continuous learning, and growth.
Over the past 12 years, I've had the privilege of working with a diverse array of organizations across multiple sectors. From addressing breast and cervical cancer to fostering blue/green workforce development, driving policy and systems change, supporting disability services, improving pharmacology and nutrition, empowering opportunity youth, promoting diversity and inclusion, collaborating with law enforcement, facilitating veteran reintegration, advancing education, engaging religious groups, advocating for social causes, and reducing recidivism among the previously incarcerated. Drawing upon my personal, educational, and professional background, I've honed the art of storytelling and compelling proposal writing.
My goal is to support programs and organizations like those that helped shape me into who I am today and push the needle on evaluation practices so that they can be used as a driver for equity, and attract the necessary resources to combat health disparities. Its this calling that has helped me assist organizations across the nation in securing millions of dollars in support for meaningful social change.
I created Granted Advisors to dismantle barriers, amplify voices, and create sustainable solutions that foster equity and positive impact. By leveraging education, data, development, and collaboration, we help our clients scale their impact and fund their mission.
Let's come together to make a difference,
Michelle Lawrence Bidwell, MPH