Sandy Parson

Sandy Parson

  • Project Coordinator
Forma
  • ESFJ
  • The Provider
  • Developer
  • Positivity
  • Includer
  • Responsibility
  • Belief

As The Provider, Sandy is sensitive to the needs of others and conscientious in helping them in whatever way she can. She’ll often take on the concerns of others as if they were her own and she wants to be sure that everyone is taken care of. From your very first conversation with Sandy, it’s clear from her smile and her enthusiasm that she loves people, that she’s energetic, and that she’s generous with her time and talent. Sandy is dedicated, hard working, and practical, but that’s balanced with a deep desire to engage others, build consensus, and help create harmony. It’s this interesting intersection of traits that makes her uniquely gifted to care about others while simultaneously being capable of seeing that care practically come to fruition. Plus, her innate orientation toward serving others makes her extraordinarily approachable and easy to connect with. You never feel like it’s been work to have a conversation with Sandy. It’s effortless and refreshing—a little dose of joy whether you realize that you need it or not. Sandy wants to make the world a better place and a conversation with her helps to bring it about.

Sandy was born and raised in the Akron, Ohio area. She has three siblings: an older brother, Nick; an older sister, Larissa who is married and lives in Texas; and a younger brother, Gabe. Unfortunately, the dynamic of her close-knit family changed when she was in 8th grade and her father, Rick, was diagnosed with cancer. Two years later, he passed away leaving Sandy’s mother, Joyce, alone in caring for the family. “We’re really close. Her strength is really inspiring and empowering. She’s a strong woman.” Despite the tragic circumstances, Sandy describes her mom as "bubbly in an energetic, on-the-go sort of way. She’s always wanting to do things. She’s always planning and it’s always the best...She’s detailed and curious. And she’s the same with people. She always has a connection because she’s interested in people. She loves conversation that is deeper than a surface level conversation.” Similarly, Sandy also credits her dad with modeling how to love others, especially through his work at Hattie Larlham. "He could make them smile and make them laugh and carry on conversation even when someone couldn’t speak.” Sandy didn’t fully realize this connection to his faith until later. "He represented Christ in all of his relationships with my mom and everyone else. He taught me to be intentional with people with where they come from."

Her upbringing and her experiences have formed into her character an intentionality beyond her years. "I’ve learned to appreciate giving intentional words to others. Truly meaning what I have to say. From the bottom of my heart.” She values taking time to help another person. "There are a lot of things happening in the present...Over the last 4 years, I’ve learned to be present and not dwell in past things. That has taken a lot of practice. I think I’ve seen that form in my character even as a small group leader. When you are present in the moment, you realize how much is happening to those around you. When I’m present, it benefits that other person.”

As you might expect, Sandy loves to travel and deeply values the perspectives that she gains from traveling. She (and her family) especially love to go to local places to eat and enjoy what local life looks like. She also loves photography, particularly taking pictures of random things.  

Q&A with Sandy

WHAT'S THE BEST PART OF YOUR STORY SO FAR?

Being a small group leader and being a part of Campus Focus. I started attending CF my freshman year. The time being there has challenged me in my faith. It was because of that community that I chose to go to U of Akron. And it’s where others saw potential in me to become a leader, which is not something I saw in myself at the time.

WHAT ORGANIZATION OR COMPANY INSPIRES YOU AND WHY?  

White Flag (in Nashville TN). Their mission is to sell flags with different simple designs on them in order to spark conversation about who Jesus is and to share your story.  I really love what they do and what their mission is.

WHAT ASPECT OF IPSO'S CULTURE RESONATES WITH YOU THE MOST? 

It’s the relationships within ipso that you see among everyone. You see how genuine they are. How everyone cares for each other more than what everyone is doing Monday through Friday. That’s true even with clients. It’s evident through simple conversations that folks at ipso care about other people.

WHAT DOES FLOURISH MEAN TO YOU?

To me, flourishing means to start something and to step into it. And to make it what you see it to be. Good things can come from stepping into that new thing.

WHAT ARE YOU DOING WHEN YOU FEEL MOST LIKE YOU?

I would say probably being at a park riding my bike.

IN AN ALTERNATIVE LIFE, WHAT WOULD YOU WANT TO GIVE A TRY?

I would become a florist. And I would love to know how to make pottery and then make vases for those flowers.