Sheri Smith graduated from American University with a B.A. in International Studies and holds an M.A. from Georgetown University in Communication, Culture and Technology. In college, Sheri interned at the State Department for Vital Voices, an initiative started by Hillary Clinton. Here Sheri recognized her passion for helping people find their voice and inspiring them to catalyze change in the world. Shifting her career focus to corporate consulting, Sheri discovered the power of assessment technology for hiring and coaching and has been using these tools for over 10 years. Sheri saw the benefits of clients working in their zone of genius and the pain of being in a role that wasn’t a good fit. As a result, she founded The Indigo Project in 2013 with the vision of ushering in an education revolution that shifts the system away from standardization to a system that empowers and trains students to ultimately find work they love.
It makes me sad to see people living life in a deadened state - not because they aren’t smart or talented or amazing, but because they are in a situation that doesn’t fulfill them. Today’s education system does not set children up to understand who they are or make choices that bring out the best in them. I want to live in a world where people see their own value and the value of others.
When I first took the assessment, I was 22, and a few things really impacted me. First, I saw that my sense of self was really low. I was talented, with an extreme behavioral style, and had a lot going for me. However, I had such a low sense of self that I couldn’t see my strengths. It was shocking to me to see, on paper, this mirror reflecting who I was. This powerful experience catapulted my life into a totally different trajectory; I started pursuing the question, “Who am I, and how do I find meaning and aliveness in whatever life path I choose?”
I have since discovered that meaning comes from feeling intrinsically valuable and from doing work that aligns with my deepest self. Our journey in life is to become fully expressed, finding environments and relationships where we are valued for who we are. It is so simple and yet so complex.
Many students measure their “value” against academic achievements. Now is the time to redefine what is valuable and recognize that intrinsic value is completely different in each situation and for each student. One way to shift this paradigm is to introduce a new set of metrics into the education system that reveals deeper, personal information and guides students toward self-awareness and fulfillment. This is why I launched the Indigo Project.