My fervor for working with challenging youths made me one of WIN’s most dedicated parents.
Originally from Saginaw, MI I got a Bachelor of Science degree from Eastern Michigan University. My major was English, Language, and Literature with Mathematics minor. I moved to Baltimore in 2000 to become a middle school Language Arts teacher with Baltimore City Public School System. I graduated Magna Cum Laude with my Masters in Secondary Education in 2009 from Towson University. After teaching 6-10th grade English and Language Arts for 10 years, I became an English Adjunct Professor at Baltimore City Community College, BCCC. I am now a Student Success Specialist/Case Manager for the Academic Acceleration for African American Males (4A) Program.
In August of 2012 I faced my greatest challenge ever…I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Rectum Cancer. After doing two rounds of chemotherapy treatment, radiation, and having surgery I am blessed to be cancer free! The past 1 ½ years has proven to be an extremely difficult occurrence for me. Because of my permanent colostomy, I became extremely self-conscious, depressed, and ultimately suicidal. However, after 9 months of “living hell”, I woke up one day and the fog was clear, my cognitive functions were beginning to improve, and I decided to accept my NEW NORMAL.
I realize that my work here on earth is not yet done. So, I decided to continue my passion of working with students, education, loving on family and friends while writing a book and shooting a documentary to share my story. I am also starting a foundation called SO Shontee’. The foundation will be for minority children who have an ostomy. I will be able to show those children someone who looks like them while also providing books written by minority authors as well as pouch covers. I find reverence in two very personal scriptures from Jeremiah; 17:14 “Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise” and 29: 11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.