JJ Wahlberg in The Christian Science Monitor:
When Shadi Pourkashef takes the stage at elementary school auditoriums, students know she’s there to talk about being kind, stopping bullying, and understanding others. So it might be surprising to them that she begins by asking what they think she does outside of her presentations.
The kids guess all kinds of things: “You’re a lawyer.” “You’re a teacher.” “You make drinks at Starbucks.” Then Ms. Pourkashef shows a photo of herself leading an orchestra and explains that she is a composer for movies and commercials, a piano teacher, and a conductor. The kids are amazed. “You couldn’t tell all that just by looking at me, could you?” she asks them.
And that’s the heart of the message that she brings from her Ability Awareness Project (AAP): You don’t know everything that someone is capable of just from a single observation or interaction. At her sunny studio here, her musical work is obvious. Two keyboards and a piano occupy three walls. She works via video chat with a student on piano finger placement. But her “other work” – combating bullying with kindness – happens beyond the studio walls throughout the community.