Opening Hearts + Minds Award

This June, Studio Movie Grill will present its third annual Opening Hearts and Minds Award to the founder and project director of Creative Solutions, Lisa Schmidt. The Opening Hearts and Minds Award is presented to innovative leaders on our team and in our communities who go above and beyond to create a positive wake in their neighborhoods.

It's not where you've been that determines who you can become, it's where you will go and what you will do!   — Lisa Schmidt

This year’s honoree, educator Lisa Schmidt, has worked to make a positive impact on the lives of young people in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex for over 30 years. She is founder of the award-winning Creative Solutions program, a Big Thought partnership with the Dallas County Juvenile Department and Southern Methodist University. The program provides job and life skills training for youth on probation.

Currently, Lisa serves as Director of Learning and Professional Development at Big Thought, where she trains instructors and designs programming. Since 1993, the Southern Methodist University theater program graduate has created, designed, and taught theater, dance, storytelling, and creative writing workshops throughout Dallas. Studio Movie Grill is proud to partner with Lisa and Big Thought, hosting and sponsoring impactful facilitated screenings to support Big Thought programs with films like Wonder Woman, Wonder, and A Wrinkle in Time.

Lisa will be honored on June 14, 2018 at SMG Northwest Highway. In addition to a program celebrating her 30 years as an impactful educator and her tireless work with Big Thought to further social-emotional learning with children and adults, the event will feature a red carpet, celebrity appearances, and a special screening Disney Pixar's Incredibles 2.

Previous Winners


Twelve 'Real Life Women Superheroes' were selected from over 700 nominations based on their dedication to helping others, resiliency in the face of tough circumstances, and professional achievements.

Beauty Baldwin  |  Atlanta Georgia’s first female African American school superintendent who has devoted her life to education

Dr. Ophelia Garmon-Brown  |  Charlotte A physician with a busy practice who still directs a free clinic and is a beloved community volunteer

Tamar Manasseh  |  Chicago A mother who puts her life on the line to keep her neighborhood safe, and ignited a growing anti-violence movement among mothers across the country

Paige Litterer  |  Dallas/Fort Worth A youth advocate who helped to launch Café Momentum, one of the only nonprofit restaurants that employ at-risk youth in the country

Monique Rodriguez  |  Houston An Army veteran who fights to make sure her fellow servicemen and women receive support and assistance as they transition

Lindsay Stawick  |  Indianapolis A mentor dedicated to educating the youth in her community about the warning signs and fallout of domestic violence

Melanie Hudson  |  Philadelphia A single mother who, despite struggling herself, has worked to put herself through college and volunteers with area hunger relief organization

Pastel Corbett  |  Rocklin/Sacramento A young artist who uses her talents to shine a light on the homeless population in her community

Mary Hadsell  |  Scottsdale/Phoenix The director of nonprofit Camelot, who seeks to aid those with physical disabilities with equine therapy

Sandra Young  |  Simi Valley/Los Angeles A nurse practitioner who created an organization to help the underrepresented immigrants in her area

Robyn Mellin  |  Tampa A woman who traded a lucrative career in the spotlight for the opportunity to serve her community’s homeless youth

Thea Jorgensen  |  Bismarck A business owner and National Guard member focused on mentoring young women who suffer from bullying


Brian Schultz  |  Dallas Founder and owner of Studio Movie Grill

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