GAP Alumna Christina Limbird Gives a New Meaning to the Village that Raises a Child
Recently, while GAP alum Christina Limbird was looking at her company calendar, her heart skipped a beat when she saw the hundreds of hours of learning support, she was providing to students globally. As she began to realize the extent of her impact and her ability to reach children around the world, she became overwhelmed with gratitude.
“I was overcome with gratitude knowing that each session is helping a child feel more confident, more capable, and better equipped to face the challenges of school life,” she said. “Our work may not be visible (other than grades on report cards), but it is PALPABLE, literally changing kids’ lives every day.”
Christina Limbird, the co-founder of Linden Global Learning Support, provides children around the globe with individualized education and mental health support services to promote accessible learning for all students. Her organization provides students who are attending school internationally with resources and specialists in mental health counseling, special needs support, speech therapy, psychology, and occupational therapy to encourage their academic success.
“There is no more rewarding moment for me than getting those emails from school leaders or parents describing how our work was pivotal in helping a child be able to graduate from high school, or finally be able to find confidence in themselves after years of anxiety or depression,” Christina said.
Christina decided to start her business after watching students struggle without proper support systems while working at international schools. She noticed that most students had a strong community to assist their academic, mental, and emotional needs in their home countries but did not have the same support system at their school away from home. Christina set out to help students develop a source of strength while living abroad through her organization.
“Everyone knows it takes a village to raise a child, but what do parents do when their village is an ocean away?” she said. “We set out to create a village of support for children and families living abroad, accessible from anywhere.”
After beginning to build her organization, Christina participated in the GAP Paris program in 2019. Participating in the program allowed her to shift her mindset from being a “psychologist with a business” to a “business leader in the field of educational psychology.” Christina benefitted from the mentorship and community during the GAP program, but her most significant takeaway was gaining confidence, she said.
During the pandemic, Christina and her co-director, Chineme Ugbor, had to adjust to the online learning environment and develop new technology as well as re-train her staff. She went from having 15% of her clients working with their therapists online to having all of her students and educators attending their session remotely. By being flexible and continuing to connect with clients online, Christina was able to exceed her organization’s pre-pandemic goals. She has demonstrated to her clients that strong educational support can still be provided online.
“Before the pandemic, it was difficult to explain to schools and families that almost any educational support service can be provided remotely,” Christina said. “Now, everyone knows that with practice, expertise, and a strong internet connection, most anything is possible!”
She also co-founded the first international leadership academy in Europe called the Girls Gearing Up International Leadership Academy. Through this platform, Christina and her team have trained over 200 girls from 25 countries, providing them with confidence, leadership skills, and mentorship to help them create a social impact in their communities.
As a female leader, Christina has learned about the importance of having committed mentors and a strong network. She considers having a well-built network to be one of her greatest strengths because in the face of any challenge, she can always rely on her community to advise and guide her. Christina advises other female entrepreneurs to prioritize building long-lasting, deep connections.
“No matter what challenge arises, I have mentors and supporters I can call on to advise me and share their experiences,” she said. “My biggest advice is: be generous in building meaningful relationships and your network. It all comes back to you.”
To learn more about Christina Limbird and her organization follow her on social media, or listen to her speak on the Vital Voices Podcast on the impact of COVID on children and education.