Tempe special education teacher wins Pay It Forward

Pay It Forward is sponsored by America First Credit Union and Penguin Air & Plumbing
Sarah Davis opened the Believe I Can Academy in 2012, a school for special needs students. She's been helping her students grow in life and social skills.
Published: Jul. 13, 2023 at 5:00 PM MST|Updated: Jul. 13, 2023 at 6:07 PM MST
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TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — We Paid it Forward in Tempe to Sarah Davis, who founded Believe I Can Academy. It’s an amazing school that serves young students with special needs.

Michelle, a parent whose child attends the academy, said, “I nominated Sarah because she is not only a teacher, but she helps the kids grow in other ways learning life skills and social skills. She goes over and beyond the job, she takes her free time to do things for the kids. Not only kids but the staff there as well.”

Sarah was a special ed teacher and decided to start Believe I Can Academy back in 2012. When she first started, she held classes in her condo. Now the academy has its own campus and to this day, it has served over 100 students and their families. Because of her amazing work, Elizabeth, who has a daughter in the program, wanted to Pay It Forward to her.

So we walked up to Sarah and said, “Michelle, tell her what she won this week.” Michelle told Sarah, “You have won the Pay It Forward award from AZFamily and $500 in cash!” Sarah said, “Thanks for giving me the opportunity to do it! All these perfect people make it possible.”

We showed up on a special day — it was a student’s birthday. The student, Riley, chose to have a karaoke party. This is amazing because a lot of these fabulous students don’t get invites to birthday parties, so Sarah and her crew make birthdays a big deal where everyone celebrates them all day. The world is truly a better place because of people like Sarah.

Sarah said, “It’s phenomenal. I couldn’t do it without the team that I have. The kids really do it all. We just encourage it and allow them to grow and be the best humans they could possibly be. It’s a blessing and I am honored to do it.”

Click here If you would like more information on Believe I Can Academy; it’s a wonderful place. Also, if you would like to nominate someone for our Pay It Forward award, just fill out a nomination form on our community page.

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