Sixto Cancel
Founder and CEO, Think of Us
sixto cancel
sixto cancel
Sixto Cancel
Founder and CEO, Think of Us
"I believe that the fundamental architecture of the system must be redesigned, and that supports must be rooted in lived experience. Though many people succeed despite the system, it’s our job to create innovations that make this the rule rather than the exception."
2014 Champion
2014 Champion

Sixto Cancel is a nationally recognized leader driving systems change in child welfare, working across tech, service delivery, research and data, and state and federal policy to improve outcomes for youth and families. He has a proven track record of mobilizing cross-sector partnerships and lived-expertise to drive effective innovation at the local, state, and federal levels to solve both entrenched and emergent challenges.

As CEO of Think of Us, Sixto is responsible for creating and leading organizational strategy to drive fundamental systems change in child welfare systems across the country. This includes advising state and federal government leaders and bodies to adopt best practices and improve policies, partnering with private-sector providers and state agencies to design and build novel technological and practical solutions, creating and managing direct service programs to improve resource accessibility, and directing a research center innovating participatory research practices to address historical knowledge gaps.

Sixto incorporated Think of Us in 2017 as a tech nonprofit, initially designed to use virtual storytelling to shed light on the experiences of foster youth. He led Think of Us through a rapid evolution, creating the Think of Us app in 2018; assisting the Federal government and 44 states in disbursing $400M in Federal pandemic relief funds to former foster youth in 2020-21 through the Check for Us campaign; building the Lived Experience Network, the nation’s largest virtual community of lived-experts in child welfare in 2021; and launching the Center for Lived Experience to center lived experience in research and national policy-making in 2022.

He is also a Forbes “30 Under 30” winner for social action. From Forbes: “Think of Us is a web and mobile life-coaching platform that helps foster youth navigate their transition to adulthood. The platform is like an Asana or Trello for foster youth, and it ensures that they are aware of all of the steps they have to take to navigate the foster-care system and that they are prepared to live independently after they turn 18 and are on their own.”

Watch Sixto’s talk about kinship care at TED 2023