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Positive Tomorrows’ Margaret Creighton


Positive Tomorrows’ Margaret Creighton

Breaking Down Barriers, Creating Change

by Brooke Barnett

Margaret Creighton (BS Dance Management ’02, MBA Marketing ’06) was drawn to her position at Positive Tomorrows because it combined her two biggest loves – providing educational opportunities and making a difference in the world. She had reached a point in her life where she was starting to think about the impact she was making, and knew it was time for a change.

“I’ve always been involved in the arts, and it has shaped who I am today. I had previously worked for a non-profit organization that was an arts-integrated dance school, and it was incredible,” Creighton explains. “Positive Tomorrows gave me the same feeling. We expose our kids to art, music and dance as a way to help them find the thing that they really love. Everything we do here centers around our kids and what they need.”

As Oklahoma's only school and social services agency specifically for children and families experiencing homelessness, Positive Tomorrows focuses on providing stability, a quality education and social support to students affected by poverty. Founded in 1989, Positive Tomorrows has spent the last three decades helping to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty by removing barriers, providing family support and helping students to flourish in a supportive and understanding environment.

Creighton has worked for the organization for the past 10 years, serving as director of development and executive vice president before being named president in 2022. Even as her responsibilities within the organization have changed, her focus on the importance of their mission has not wavered.

“Sometimes it is hard, and sometimes it is messy. But all of our students understand the joy that they feel when they accomplish certain things,” she says. “I love watching our families be proud of themselves and proud of each other. We don’t just focus on our students, but rather the entire family as a whole. They both need attention to grow, and that growth is so powerful.”

As an Oklahoma City University alumna, Creighton credits her time as a student with helping to expose her to a diverse population. She believes that her OCU education has helped open doors allowing her to make a difference in her world.

Margaret Creighton (’02, ’06) visits with one of the many children attending Positive Tomorrows.

“My time at OCU really opened my eyes and helped me learn from so many different people,” she adds. “It propelled me into my career, and helped me understand that I want to move forward only by working with helping others. What I want to do with my life is lift up other voices.”

Lifting up others has given Creighton many memorable experiences at Positive Tomorrows. She recalls watching families move into a home after living in their car for more than a year, the pride of seeing students grow multiple grade levels academically in a single year and celebrating birthdays and other major milestones along the way. Creighton is excited that OCU continues to partner with Positive Tomorrows to help make dreams come true for their students. One of her favorite connections is having OCU students in the Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Arts Entertainment’s Costume Lab class make Halloween costumes for the students at Positive Tomorrows, complete from creating an original design to alterations to final fittings.

“Those are the magic moments,” she recalls. “Something as simple as giving kids the costume of their dreams or watching them blow out candles on a birthday cake for the first time. It’s all about giving them a chance to wish and hope for something, and then to have someone help make that dream come true. It fosters a strong sense of community, even if they are giving back in the smallest ways.”

For Creighton, one of the most memorable experiences of her time at Positive Tomorrows was completing a capital campaign that built a new location for the school. The new building, which opened in 2019, tripled the school’s capacity and allowed them to expand to include additional grade levels. The expansion is continuing, with the school planning to add both a 3-year-old program and a seventh grade class in the coming year. Even with all of these successes, Creighton stays focused on ways to approach the challenges ahead.

“The biggest challenge that we are facing right now is a housing shortage,” she explains. “We are serving families that have been evicted or are buried under debt or have a former incarceration, and those can be really big barriers. Climbing out of poverty can be difficult and hard. If I could wave a magic wand, I would build housing specifically for our families, with safe places for our kids to play.”

While Creighton continues to seek ways to expand the impact Positive Tomorrows makes in the community, she encourages others to join them in their efforts to create positive change for their students and families.

“Come see us and be part of our school,” she concludes. “Our students love when people volunteer, even if it is only one hour each week of mentoring. Our students have so much promise inside of them. Come invest your time, your talents and your treasure with our kids. It is one of the most important things you could do.”

For more information about Positive Tomorrows, visit positivetomorrows.org.

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