Sprinavasa Brown believes that any person with the right encouragement, support, and mentorship can change the trajectory of their lives and future. Growing up in Oregon, Sprinavasa noticed early on that she was the only person, or maybe one of two, people of color who participated in both science and outdoor camps. She wondered where her peers of color were and why they weren't given a chance to have such fun summer opportunities.
Sprinavasa believes that all children should feel like the outdoor world is accessible to them, a place for environmental responsibility, learning, and joy. With her deep passion for equity, social justice, community activism, and increasing access to resources—Sprinavasa created Camp ELSO. Camp ELSO was spurred by her desire to cultivate an environment she and the co-founder Kellianne never had: where youth of color have the opportunity to see people who look like them as their science teachers, and career mentors. To increase opportunities for the next generation of youth to have hands-on exploration and learning opportunities in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) and a willingness to help expose youth to the outdoors in a safe and fun way.
A recognized community builder, leader in the nonprofit field, and skilled and charismatic communications professional, Sprinavasa is committed to the health and sustainability of her community, and access to educational opportunities for all youth.
She has overseen Camp ELSO operations including curriculum design, partnership development, community outreach, fundraising, and direct program delivery for 3 years. She is a recipient of the Bonner Scholars Award at Oberlin College for outstanding community leadership and service. She has earned a BA from Oberlin with a double major in Biology and African American Studies, and a MA in Communication and Leadership Studies from Gonzaga University. Sprinavasa has experience advising and working alongside local agencies and regional government to further communication, engagement, and outreach to communities of color. She is a member of Metro's Public Engagement Review Committee, Metro Parks & Nature Equity Advisory Committee. Sprinavasa has worked with Portland Parks and Recreations on two advisory committees including the Columbia Children's Arboretum and Forest Park Nature Center. An alumna of the EE42 Environmental Leaders Program and served on the leadership group for the Regional Visioning Project for Environmental Education and Environmental Justice. She is a newly elected member of the board of directors for the Nonprofit Association of Oregon.
Sprinavasa has an extensive background in Advancement (donor fundraising, marketing, and communications) and currently advises on fundraising strategy and community engagement.
She leads by example to set a precedent for what can be accomplished in environmental STEAM programming when people from diverse communities are empowered to lead and are supported through advocacy and partnership by mainstream organizations.
When she isn't actively engaged in one of her professional roles, Sprinavasa is spending time with family gardening, traveling, catching up on her reading list and enjoying Portland culinary scene.