About 2019-10-18T04:08:51+00:00

A letter from the founder

My name is Lindsey, founder of Raven’s Guardians.  One day, I was struck with an epiphany. I wanted to start a non-profit to help individuals with social anxiety disorders find community to develop social skills, and job opportunities, in an environment that would support them despite being labeled different by society. I knew this could work for others as it has worked for me. I attended my first renaissance festival at 7, then again at 13. At 14 I had my first job passing out business cards for a booth. I found a community where I was accepted as the “weird kid” and even admired for my interests. My crippling anxiety started to dissipate over my many years in faire, reenactment, and comic cons. Within them I developed community and job skills. I even met other non-profits at a local faire who then inspired me to create my own non-profit. I want to be able to bring others to environments that encompass their interests so they can develop their own connections, as I have.

Lindsey Brown

Founding director of our Non-Profit, Lindsey has spent most of her adult and adolescent life performing, managing, and participating in Renaissance festivals, Historical reenactment, LARP, Comic Cons, and Haunted Houses. These communities helped her overcome and deal with depression, Anxiety, and PTSD. She credits these environments, and amazing people within them, having helped her become the person she is today.

Lindsey is a full-time student pursuing a degree in Psychology. She is a member of Alpha Gamma Pi, a chapter of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and the ACC Psychology club. Lindsey holds several continuing education certificates including Movement Method 1 & 2 and a Paraprofessional Certification in Education.

Ms. Brown has a 9yr background in child care and educational support. 14yrs in Haunted House production, SFX Makeup, prop building, and costume creation. She holds a Professional Makeup Artist certificate received under the tutelage of Lee Grimes and Bill McCoy. Lindsey has volunteered and organized for non-profits for 7yrs, including Makeup artistry and management for Scare for a Cure, SFX Makeup and body painting for the BCRC Art Bra Charity event.

Lindsey was inspired by her friends and fellow non-profit founders to launch her own organization. There is a great need for At Risk teens and Young Adults to find community and support. Lindsey knows Raven’s Guardians can create positive experiences with brilliant communities though phenomenal adventures for those who may not have access or means to have these experiences on their own.

Arik A. Helman

Arik is the owner and lead designer for Son of Sandlar, a prominent company renowned for its hand-crafted leather footwear and clothing in the renaissance festival, reenactment and cosplay community. He has lead this family owned company for over 25 years. He has an extensive business background and successfully manages and operates several enterprises from retail businesses, real estate ventures, and private label business to business productions.

His educational background begins with two bachelor’s degrees from New York University, in Political Science and Philosophy. At NYU he was a dean’s list student and a Draper Scholar. At Tulane University he received his Juris Doctor. In New Orleans, he began serving the public interest by becoming a student advocate in the New Orleans Legal Assistance Corporation; Eviction Advocacy Clinic. As a student editor for a Law journal he was published for a student comment on an important Maritime Law issue.

Admitted to the Florida Bar in 2001, and the Federal Bar in 2002. In 2003, he entered public interest again and served as an Assistant Public Defender for the 17th Judicial Circuit in Broward County, Florida. As a Public Defender, he became an accomplished criminal defense attorney representing indigent clients through all phases of criminal proceedings. He became a successful trial attorney boasting over 50 jury trials in a variety of criminal cases.

Today he sits on our board of directors and compliments our group by providing a strong advisory role on finance and business. He is a powerful speaker and motivator. Working towards positive results, he seeks to improve the overall quality of society. He continues to give back to the community and has a strong sense of social equity. We are proud to have him with us!

Leigh M. Brown

As a Director Of Raven’s Guardians, Mrs. Brown is a retired special education teacher with a twenty year career. She taught her first lesson to, Debbie, a child she babysat when Mrs. Brown was ten years old. By age fifteen, she was volunteering with teen members of  the ARC in Hawaii participating in weekend recreational activities. These experiences solidified her love of learning and the differences which we all have.
Her educational background commenced with a Bachelor’s degree in Special Education and a minor in Psychology with honors from James Madison University in 1977. Later, she passed the National Teacher’s Exam in the 93 percentile. She taught a variety of classes in elementary and middle school in four states and ended her career in Austin as a teacher of social communication, resources, and skills, or SCORES. These classes benefited students on the autism spectrum in inclusive environments.
Over her career, Mrs. Brown received additional training in behavior, phonological awareness, reading, and inclusion. In 2016, she tutored a student with dyslexia from a non-reading to beginner reading status over three months.
It is Mrs. Brown’s interest in advocating for the needs of participants during the social experiences of Raven’s Guardians so that positive experiences meet the needs of our community.