Izabel Olson was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Izabel is a PhD in Education with a background in the health and wellness sector that includes experience with dance, holy yoga, health coaching, and competitive body building. Izabel has had a lifelong commitment to education teaching for ten years before being admitted to Northwestern University where she earned her Ph.D. in the Learning Sciences.
Back in Brazil, Izabel led the IT department for the British School managing a budget of a million reais and developed the bilingual curriculum implemented nationally at Escola Anglo Americano. At Northwestern, she explored the link between culture and cognition with low-income students in Brazil.
Unfortunately, Izabel grew disillusioned with academia as she experiences resistance to change. In 2014, upon earning her PhD, she decided that the best way to create an impact was by working at the grass-roots’ level. Having been a lifelong fitness enthusiast, she began teaching holy yoga at the Cook County Jail in 2015. In this role, Izabel found out that 70% of incarcerated women are survivors of trafficking. As she experienced first hand the benefits of meditation and trauma-sensitive holy yoga on the female inmates, she felt the nudge to do something more meaningful using her background in Education and passion for health and wellness. This was the beginning of the Salt and Light Coalition.