Sarasota Academy Announces 2019 – 2020 Inspire Project Speaker List

Sarasota Military Academy, a local public charter school, has released a list of celebrity guests and industry experts scheduled to present during the annual “Inspire Project” curriculum, a program created by Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) Outreach Director Todd Brown, Ph.D. 

The Inspire Project, which focuses on the topics of Health, Equality, and Earth, includes the “Operation Outbreak,” a program that has received international attention as Dr. Brown was invited to present at global conferences including the 2019 Global IB Conference held in New Orleans and the 2019 Shekou SDG’s Education Conference in Shekou, and Shanghai, China. 

This year, the Inspire Project has been expanded to include both the SMA high school and SMA Prep middle school campuses. One of the notable speakers includes “Operation Outbreak” supporter and Time Magazine’s Person of the Year and Most Influential People in the World, Dr. Pardis Sabeti. While many of the speakers appear in person, several guests participate in the program through video chats, allowing cadets and staff to interact in real-time with talented speakers across the globe. 

“The Inspire Project aims to connect students in our community with change-makers and experts in a variety of fields and industries. This year, we are excited to expand the program throughout our high school and Prep middle school campuses,” said Sarasota Military Academy Outreach Director Todd Brown, Ph.D. “This program is just one example of how we use resources and create opportunities outside of the ‘traditional’ curriculum to help our cadets understand and experience the meaning and importance of global citizenship.”

Project Health speakers include Sebastian Junger, a #1 New York Times Bestselling author and an award-winning journalist, contributing editor and a special correspondent at ABC News; Aarti Sequeira, former news (CNN) and documentary (HBO’s “Sand and Sorrow”) producer turned Food Network, host and cookbook author; Jordan Reeves, inventor and creator of “Project Unicorn” who pitched the idea to “Shark Tank” investors during an appearance on The Rachael Ray Show in 2017; Lauren Findley, YouTube star, fitness competitor and model; and Dr. Raf Ratinam, a medical illustrator from Australia, creator of 2D/3D illustrations/animations for surgeons.  

Project Equality speakers include Christopher Sean, an Asian-American actor appearing on CBS’s Hawaii Five-O and the recent award-winning, Star Wars Resistance; Sonia Purnell, a journalist and bestselling author and Christina Unkel, the FOX Women’s World Cup rules analyst, and one of only three FIFA-license female referees representing the United States Soccer Federation. Project Earth speakers include Kate Brooks, an award-winning photographer with work featured around the world for human rights campaigns; Les Stroud, Canadian Screen Award-winning producer, creator, and star of the hit TV series Survivorman; Dr. Margaret D. Lowman, Ph.D. a.k.a. “Canopy Meg,” an American biologist, educator, ecologist, writer, editor, and public speaker and Dr. Tracy Fanara, an engineer and staff scientist at Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium

To learn more about the Inspire Project or view a list of past or planned speakers and appearances, visit To learn more about Sarasota Military Academy, visit

PHOTO ID: Sarasota Military Academy cadets with Aarti Sequeira, former news and documentary producer turned Food Network, host and cookbook author. 

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor, and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit


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