Byron Sanders sits at the helm of Big Thought, a Dallas -based organization committed to helping youth in under-resourced communities prepare for life in various innovative ways. As the President and CEO of the organization, he and his staff endeavor to connect youth with individuals and organizations interested in sponsoring quality in-school, afterschool and innovative community-partnership experiences. Byron’s professional expertise spans the fields of banking, education, philanthropy, and he’s served Big Thought in various capacities since 2008, including supporter, volunteer, advisor, partner, and most recently, board member.
Speaking to his current role, “In an age where technology is changing the workforce at a clip so rapidly that 65% of students today are going to be working in jobs that don’t yet exist, Big Thought’s work to unleash youth’s creativity and empower them to build human relationships is exactly the kind of work that prepares them to thrive in the 21st century,” says Sanders. “Through our partnerships, our work touches the lives of 150,000 students in Dallas every year. Art, STEM, service learning, design thinking, the game changers on our team are everyday innovating new and different ways for young people to channel their creativity into productivity, equipping them to create their best lives and world.”
The University of Tulsa graduate believes that one’s life purpose and mission cannot be truly fulfilled without active community engagement. As such, Byron is a member of United Way’s Community Impact Council, Social Venture Partners Dallas, CitySquare, ChildCareGroup, KIPP DFW, and the Mayor’s Star Council and other service initiatives. Due to his servitude acumen, Sanders has received a number of prestigious honors such as the 2014 Dallas Business Journal’s Minority Business Leaders and its 2012 40 Under 40 awards. He has also been recognized as a Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau BIG Influencer, Dallas Foundation Good Works Under 40, and as a TEDx speaker. Notably, in 2017, he was named a Presidential Leadership Scholar by the program led by the presidential centers of George W. Bush, William J. Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Lyndon B. Johnson. His most recent honors include the Parkland Foundation’s Community First Award, and recognition in the 5th edition of Who’s Who in Black Dallas. Sanders shares, “Who’s Who of Black Dallas is indeed an honor, yet it’s one I share with all the women and men who have poured into my journey. I stand on the legacy of Mollie Sanders, a mother whose very soul is that of generosity. I stand on the village of educators from Adelle Turner Elementary to Greenhill School, on Donald Payton, Selmore Haynes, Abe Wehmiller, Synthia Rogers, and all the mentors who wrapped their arms around my younger self because by cognizance or divination they saw I so desperately needed them in my life… it is a celebration not of our individual excellence, but that of our collective glory, a continuous thread of black beauty, strength, and love. I am blessed to be among that number and grateful for the chance to contribute to that heritage.”