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Brave leaders ACADEMY

Empowering and equipping students with the emotional resilience they need to step into their lives fully - to go after their dreams, own their choices, lead with courage and compassion, and develop a deep knowing that they can do hard things.

Through our keynotes and small group Deep Dives, we provide customizable programming to schools and organizations to help students cultivate the courage, resilience and perseverance needed to let go of beliefs that are holding them back - and live their dreams. 

We want EVERY student to know they are capable beyond their wildest imagination - worthy, without conditions - and loved. We want EVERY student to know they can do hard things. Because, they can. 

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My name is Samantha Arsenault Livingstone and I am an Olympic gold medalist, transformational speaker and high performance coach. And, I am a mom of four girls - and the founder of Brave Leaders Academy. 

Before stepping into the world of entrepreneurship, I was a classroom teacher. Six magical and hard years. I never planned on teaching - growing up, I wanted to be a doctor. All that changed when I was thrust into the darkness just two months after standing atop the Olympic podium at 18 years old. 

In the middle of my battle with depression, an eating disorder and a shoulder that needed surgery - my therapist sent me out on a homework assignment that changed my life: a mentorship program at a local elementary school. It seemed absurd - pouring into others when I felt broken. And. It was the very thing that allowed me to heal. Seeing the faces of those 18 beautiful souls, ignited a passion in me that had been buried. The wide-eyes. The aha moments. The shift in their energy when they could feel that you cared.

The ability to make an impact.

I felt called.

My first stop, Norcross High School - just outside of Atlanta, Georgia where I spent six years teaching science. I poured my heart and soul into 'my kids'- and I'm not sure who learned more - because those six years challenged me in ways I never expected. In heart warming ways - and heart wrenching ways. All of it true.

Turning in the keys to my classroom was one of the hardest things I've ever done. And, like I tell students all the time - we can do hard things. An amazing opportunity for my husband took us from Georgia to Massachusetts. I spent a few years at home with my girls before leaping into the world of entrepreneurship - my new classroom.

After a traumatic and perspective-shifting experience involving one of my daughters, I found myself in the darkness, again. A decade later - and still, I found strength in pouring into others. Because, in order to do this kind of work, I had to pour into myself. 

Four years of healing has landed me here. 

I've always felt a deep calling to connect with students. 

To inspire. Empower. Equip.

And help them walk to a place of deep knowing - reminding them, they are not alone in their struggle.

Work we do in the Brave Leaders Academy.

We empower students  

To take ownership and accountability for their life.

To lead with intention.

To develop the metacognitive skills needed to identify + edit limiting beliefs that are holding them back. 

To navigate feedback - both giving and receiving.  

To cultivate the courage be who they are AND stay open to growth.

To see the greatness that is inside of themselves.

And, develop the rising skills to live their dreams.


Our beliefs dictate our life. Both the outcome - and our experience of the present moment.

If there's one thing I know for sure - from my own life - and from bearing witness to the struggles my students faced on a daily basis - it's this:

We are going to face hard. Brutal hard. Unfair hard. Knock-you-off-your-feet-hard.

We can do hard. 

We can't control all the things that are thrown our way.

We CAN ALWAYS control how we respond.

When we have the courage, resilience and perseverance needed to let go of the beliefs that are holding us back - we soar. 

EVERY student is capable of living their dreams.

We have an obligation to help inspire, empower and equip them with the skill set they need in order to step into their light.

it takes a village.

{And. I know the demands, pulls and the expectations to do and be all things as an educator is real.}

Which is why I founded Brave Leaders Academy. 

Brave Leaders Academy at Emma Willard School, 2017

Brave Leaders Academy at Emma Willard School, 2017

Together, we're stronger.

We know that educators are facing ever-increasing demands with ever-decreasing resources. We know each school faces its own unique challenges. 

We'll meet - and talk about the biggest challenges facing your students. Then, we'll work together to create a program that fits the needs of your students and school. 

Equipping our students with the emotional resilience they need to develop a deep belief in their ability and worthiness opens the door for deeper learning and braver conversations.

EVERY student is worthy and capable of living their dream.

And. I realize we're swimming upstream, against a cultural current that attaches conditions to our worthiness. Based on the color of our skin. Our gender. Religious affiliation. Sexual orientation. Socioeconomic status. Where we live. How we dress. How many followers we have on social. And on, and on.

We're up for the challenge. 


Anxiety, depression and loneliness are on the rise - and so is narcissism. We are the most 'connected' we've ever been thanks to social media, and yet we really aren't connecting.  When 81% of ten-year-olds worry about becoming fat (National Eating Disorders Association) - and 74% of teens feel the pressure to be perfect (Seventeen Magazine/Yahoo), we need to ask ourselves what is going on here. 

What are the deeply held beliefs that are impacting the way we view ourselves - each other - and the world?

We have a responsibility to get underneath - to dive into the toxic undercurrents - and help our students reality-check and release their limiting beliefs.

Hard work, yes. 

Work that's worth it? YES.


Together, we will cultivate:








Ready to bring Brave Leaders Academy to your school or organization? Click here to connect!


"I have known 'Mrs. Livingstone' for 11 years. I was a freshman in high school, wide-eyed and terrified, looking for friends, answers and direction. She was my freshman Biology and junior Anatomy & Physiology teacher.  Far more than that, she was my "go-to" for all of life's problems, my guidance, and my greatest role model. I spent innumerable hours just sitting in her classroom searching for rest and motivation (I would get to school early and leave late just to make sure of it!). Sam was beyond busy with life and work. What was the difference between her and the hundreds of other teachers? She never once made me feel that way. She was an open ear and a guiding voice. She is brilliant, funny, loving, and as humble as she is incredibly impressive.

High school may have only been 4 years- but those years helped make me who I am today. Perfectionism and anxiety have always found a way to creep-up and speak lies into each area of my life- athletics, academics, relationships, my self-confidence, and my goals. During these years, the pressures of life manifested in ways I couldn't imagine- things I never saw coming. It was Sam who noticed my struggle, sickness, and need for help. Junior year, I learned that my dad, my hero, had been diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL). After mourning with my family, all I wanted to do was go to Sam for comfort and as always, I found it.

Today, I am finishing up my second year of med school. I first fell in love with science in Sam's classes. She not only has such a gift for teaching, she has a gift of encouraging everyone she comes into contact with. What she taught me was deeper than a curriculum could ever go. I was one of hundreds of students to feel this way. I carry with me the lessons she has taught me. Because of Sam, I better know how to love who I am now while working each day to be better and grow stronger.  

There was something very different and special about this teacher I was gifted with. She never let me believe that I was anything but capable of my greatest dreams and goals. Each day I walked into her classroom, I grew as a person. She helped me learn that to be imperfect is to be human - but to be amazing is a choice, each day."

- Hannah Dahl Childs, Medical Student - 2nd year

Brave leaders academy

 with Samantha arsenault Livingstone

As parents / educators / coaches, we can't control all things,

but we CAN empower.

We can teach courage and compassion. 

We can strengthen resilience. 

We can do hard things. And so can they.


For inquiries + booking, contact me here


For private coaching inquiries, please fill out the following application + then schedule a strategy call by clicking the button below. 

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