Shortly after completing her run on the hit ABC reality series The Bachelor (and making an appearance on the spin-off series, Bachelor in Paradise), Sarah Herron felt the timing was right to launch a nonprofit. The art director and creative producer at 72andSunny started SheLift, an organization she hopes will change the lives of young girls struggling with self-confidence.
In 2013, Herron became the first contestant to appear on The Bachelor with a physical disability. Herron was born with Amniotic Band Syndrome and as a result has only one arm. After appearing on the show, Herron said she received an outpouring of messages and letters from viewers of the show thanking her for being such a strong role model for young girls everywhere.
"I was someone girls felt they could resonate with because up until then it was as though to be a contestant on this show you had to be physically perfect and beautiful, have perfect hair and the perfect wardrobe," Herron said. "Rarely did girls go on the show representing different body types and shapes, and not only that but the vulnerabilities and insecurities that come with that."
When she was eventually eliminated from the show, Herron finally felt she had an opportunity to make a difference. A lover of the great outdoors, Herron created SheLift after climbing Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. SheLift will hold day events, but will focus on larger hiking or skiing adventures to get girls outdoors and help them "find their confidence and self-worth by accomplishing something they never thought they could do before," she added.
The long-term goal is to organize one big outing, from backpacking adventures to camping trips, every quarter.
Once she had the idea, it took Herron roughly one year to get SheLift up and running. She credits her experience at 72andSunny and in the creative industry with helping her pull it off. During her time at the agency, Herron has worked on accounts including Carl's Jr. and anti-smoking initiative Truth, and has "been surrounded by some of the best leaders who have taught me everything that I know," she said. "I have fortunately gotten to spend time with the best strategists and creative directors and producers to come at this from every angle with the most knowledge that I could bring to the table."