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August 2, 2018 40 Under Forty 2018

Sarah Gallardo

Photo | J. Fiereck Photography

Age: 37

Company: Sarah Speaks Up

Title: Founder & Executive Director

No. of years with current company: 3

Town where I live: Newington

Town where I work: Newington

College: Berklee College of Music, Central CT State University

Highest degree: Not completed

Sarah Gallardo has survived 10 years of domestic violence, has become a counselor and advocate and is an example of strength and hope to the community. Three years ago she founded Sarah Speaks Up to encourage, empower, strengthen and support victims and survivors of domestic violence. Gallardo and her board have created the Veterans For Victims Program and begun the Fresh Start Program. A year ago she published her first book, “Hiding In Plain Sight, A Glimpse Into The Reality of Domestic Violence.”

What's been the biggest professional accomplishment so far in your career?

Publishing my first book was one of the most painfully gut wrenching, rewarding things I've ever done. Sharing more details of my story has helped so many people but it was extremely re-traumatizing for me to write.

How are you involved in the community?

I'm a speaker, activist and advocate. I work to raise awareness of domestic violence, link victims and families to resources and create a more educated, supportive community.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I love spending time with my 11-year-old daughter, exploring and hiking in Vermont, cooking, writing, swimming, animals, meditation and environmental conservation efforts.

Give an example of a people-skills habit you adhere to in your work and daily life that you feel has helped you succeed.

I'm able to see the positive side of any challenge, even the hardest ones. I seek to find and express my truth so that others may benefit from my overcoming spirit.

What must the Greater Hartford region do to attract more talented young professionals to the area?

Continue supporting ourselves, and each other. Build a compassionate, creative, exciting, safe place to grow and thrive. Love more. Reach out to those in need. See more than just yourself.

Four reasons why you deserve to be a 40 Under Forty:

• Founded a grassroots organization to increase awareness of domestic violence.

• Received the 2015 Women of Inspiration Award from the CT Sun.

• Created the Veterans For Victims Program, where a military Veteran is paired with a domestic violence victim/survivor to support them while testifying against their abuser in court.

• Wrote and published 'Hiding In Plain Sight, A Glimpse Into The Reality of Domestic Violence.'

Fun Fact 

My first true passion is singing.

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