Adversity by Sheryl A. Hawk

SHawkphoto I was born and raised on the south side of Allentown by two hard working, over protective parents. My first challenge in life was growing up feeling alone, no brothers or sisters to create chaos, nobody to share your deepest secrets, nobody to share clothing with and nobody to share your dreams.  Friendships were a challenge due to the fact I would become protective and not want to share with other friends.  I was always afraid of being left out!  First kiss, first love, who to share with?  Boys using girls, girls using boys!  What to do!  Who to confide in?  So many questions for a young innocent mind. I  Met a boy and thought, ” he is the only one who will ever love you,”  so I settled, without even knowing other opportunities. Or maybe it was running away from over protective parents.  I gave up a chance to go on to college by choosing marriage instead, after high school.

It is hard work, climbing that ladder, twice as hard as those who earned the college degree. *I settled for second best, until I met the most unselfish women in my life, P. Sue Perrotty.   She took me under her professional wing; and I become her confidant and begin to learn how to work politically in the business arena.   Sometimes I fell, but got back up again.  I learned many lessons on dealing with adversity.   Through this monumental experience I learned patience, honesty, compassion for the job, understanding and compromise.  When to be heard and when to be silent.  What to share and what to protect with your life.  Loyalty became the most important factor in my professional life, as well as within my personal life.

Adversity continued to challenge my professional life, but another ‘angel’ gave me an amazing opportunity a job in management.  Bruce Kilroy’s faith in my skills was like no other for this advancement.  I felt  amazing in my self-confidence; but, I needed to learn style, temperament and teamwork. My  career blossomed within the financial industry but ‘merger’ adversity happens, leading me into the healthcare industry and new challenges of raising monies versus distributing monies in our communities.

I focused on creativity, partnerships and building credibility for myself through challenging ‘female’ road blocks.  Why do women continue to accept we still work in a “man’s world’?  I had wonderful opportunities in developing lasting memories and experiences in the healthcare arena.  However, time to move on and build my own company, great idea, bad timing, economy plummets and major adversity!

Back to square one … who do I want to be when I grow up?  I love being creative, taking care of people and projects, and making a difference while enjoying the balance between work and family. I had  many years of professional experience with adversity through managing unique personalities, both good and some questionable, however, always a learning experience of whom and what I never want to be like!

Faith, patience and the willingness to step back and grow from within has landed me my current journey at a wonderful transportation museum, challenged to raise the necessary funding to sustain us for the future of America On Wheels and the upcoming Riverfront plans.

I can attribute my success today to constant determination, treating people as you want to be treated, faith, and commitment.  Thanks to all who have walked with me during my life’s journey and those of you who will join me along the way!  Always believe in yourself and never, ever give up!