Women’s History Month Focus – Shawn-Ta Sterns Wilson
The Lyfe Magazine will be celebrating Women’s History Month in a very special way this year. Each Wednesday of this month we will feature one of our female Board of Directors. Each of these women are making history now that will be recognized for years to come.
We believe you will not only enjoy reading their stories but be inspired as well.
This week, let us introduce you to Shawn-Ta Sterns Wilson
Born in Connecticut and raised in Virginia, Shawn-Ta now resides in Florida. She has been blessed to turn a life-long love of writing into an opportunity to become a published author. Shawn-Ta’s current books are Survival by Faith – A Story of Faith, Obedience, and Revelation (2016) and Speak Lord – I’m Learning to Listen (2019)
In addition to being one of our board members, Shawn-Ta is a contributing writer for The Lyfe Magazine. Each quarter her articles are related to family life.
By profession, Shawn-Ta is an Event Manager. She told us she is very passionate about the event industry. She enjoys the challenge each event day brings. “No two days are the same”, she said. For her exemplary efforts, Shawn-Ta was once named Convention Services Manager of the Year, which recognizes industry professionals in the United States and Canada.
When asked about Women’s History Month, Shawn-Ta had this to say: “Many women have made history through the years. For as many who have already made history, there are just as many who are in the process of doing so right now. The impact of their efforts may not be realized until years from now, however.
“When Mary McLeod Bethune was teaching students as they sat at cardboard boxes for desks, it is very likely she had no idea Bethune-Cookman University would be what it is today.
“I’m certain Ellen Peck, my elementary school teacher, had no idea the positive, long-lasting impact she was making on my life with her daily words of encouragement and support. She helped build my confidence during very impressionable and fragile years of development.
“It is irrelevant whether the history we make is on a large scale, such as Mrs. Bethune, or a smaller scale such as Ms. Peck. History is history.
“There are so many women out there filling the roles of difference makers, agents of change, and Kingdom builders. Every time we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and accept a Kingdom assignment, we are making history whether we realize it or not.”
One of Shawn-Ta’s Kingdom assignments was a mentorship program she felt led to start. In her words, “The program was designed to bridge the gap between telling our young girls what they should do and actually showing them how. It was very practical, hands-on, Biblically-based teaching for young ladies aged 18 to 25. It was incredible to see what God did through the program.”
Shawn-Ta hopes people will grow to understand, value, and appreciate grass roots efforts as they relate to history in the making. She believes we must work on breaking the perception that being famous equates to being (positively) impactful. She went on to say that a person’s platform does not have to be statewide, national, or international to be history making.
Shawn-Ta is a great example of that statement. She has never been one to accept the status quo, especially when she sees a need, and opportunity, to create change. Shawn-Ta told us she has always used her voice for change. When asked to elaborate, she shared with us a time she used her voice to effect policy change. As an employee of the City of Tampa, Shawn-Ta wrote a letter to former Mayor Pam Iorio and asked that she review and consider changing a particular policy. Within a matter of weeks, Shawn-Ta was advised by the Mayor that her suggestion would be turned into City policy. This change would allow employees to utilize their accrued sick time after adopting a child. This was something which had been denied to Shawn-Ta when her daughter was adopted.
“I was shocked when the Mayor wrote back and said the policy would be changed. I thought there must have been others in addition to myself who reached out and asked her about changing the policy. However, she said I was the only one.” Shawn-Ta is a firm believer that one person can make a difference and it doesn’t matter who the person is.