nominated by Women of Excellence
By: Susie Owens
It’s a humbling experience to take help from someone. The exchange between two human beings of offering and receiving help is an intimate act of trust and gratitude. Each of us has felt the relief of getting help just when we needed it most. Helping others is an act of gratitude that we have received, and that we are able to provide help to others.
Seven years ago, Sheree realized that she only had about 10 or 12 more years of opportunity to do something, through her work, that would serve vulnerable children and families. After researching the impact of early intervention to help young children with severe behavior problems, she learned that, “Children who don’t grow up with their basic needs met, who grow up in families that struggle with trauma, drug and alcohol use, mental health problems, poverty, hunger, and poor educational opportunities, will not be equipped to do the hard work of managing the challenges our communities face in the future.” The problems are intensified when households are headed by single women, who struggle to make ends meet. “They cannot be fully present for their children. We must find ways to empower them, so they can raise their children with a bright and healthy future.”
But it was her own struggles as a mom raising a child with severe ADHD that planted the seed within her to eventually create Positive Leaps. “When my son was born, there were few people who could diagnosis ADHD, and as I remember making those phone calls, I decided that no parent should have to work that hard to try to find help for their child. I thought if I were ever in a position to help other families struggling with a child’s behavior, I would do whatever
With the support of her husband and a lot of prayers, they decided to spend the next chapter of their lives helping these children, by investing everything they had saved for 40 years to open Positive Leaps, a program to help young children with problem behavior and their families.
Sheree is a Registered Nurse, educated by the Sisters of Charity. “My professional values are a reflection of that inspiring group of women,” she adds. While she has been encouraged by people of many faiths, “Father Richard Rohr, of the Center for Action and Contemplation, has had a great influence in how I live my life. I learned that if I benefit by being a citizen of this great community, state, and nation, then I am obliged to contribute to the resolution of the social problems that plague them.”
In addition to running her business, Sheree is a wife, mother, and grandmother to 7 grandchildren. Yet, she still finds time to volunteer in the community, including Butler County Children and Family First Council and The Caring Community Collaborative, and the Chamber Alliance — specifically with Women of Excellence. “I am proud to work with programs that recognize the many women who give back to the community to make the world a better place.”
If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?
“I would change the level of entitlement and selfishness that seems to permeate current times. We are among the most fortunate people in the history of mankind. We are obligated to help those less fortunate.”
What is the most important piece of advice you would share
with a young woman growing up today?
“I would advise young women to spend their early years gaining experience and learning from others. Success does not come overnight. Don’t be afraid of long hours and hard work. And I’d advise them to be looking for opportunities to give back to their community, because it is an honor to do so.”
What’s your favorite quote?
“Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God.” ~ Leo Buscaglia
Women of Excellence
Women of Excellence is a program presented by The West Chester * Liberty Chamber Alliance in collaboration with Butler Tech and Mercy Health Fairfield Hospital, our presenting sponsors. Every year we honor ten (10) women who, through their current careers or volunteer work, have enhanced business, education, culture, philanthropy or provided outstanding service to the community. Of the ten recipients, two (2) are Young Women of Excellence between the ages of 16 and 24 years old. Each honoree is nominated and supported by family, peers, colleagues, students, customers, management and local community members.
This year the Women of Excellence Awards Dinner & Gala will be held on Friday, November 20, 2015 at the Cincinnati Marriott North @ Union Centre. Nominations are open throughout the year and applications are available online at www.thechamberalliance.com. If you would like to nominate someone; looking for sponsorship opportunities or would like to serve on the committee please contact Kathy Rambo at 513-777-3600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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