By Laurie Davies
By 2014, while she was working on her degree, her boss at Feeding America announced his resignation. “We were the largest food bank serving two of the largest counties in the United States,” she said. “I wanted the job, but not having my degree held me back. I knew that,” she says.
The food bank went a different direction and hired from the outside. Sharrit had hit a wall. She knew they were making the right decision to hire someone with a degree, but she still wasn’t too happy about it. Shortly after, she suffered a stroke and resigned to focus on her health. Two years later, in 2016, she finished her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.
Armed with her long-sought degree, Sharrit was back on the hunt for a job.
At age 16, she wrote something in her journal that she believes she now embodies: “I give myself permission to be exceptional.”
Now 54 years old, she says it’s taken time, but she’s lived up to what that teenager wrote. Her journey through college and into a career she loves represents a path familiar to many Phoenixes — overcoming obstacles and rising above. “You have to finally at one point stand in front of who you are or stand behind who you used to be,” she says.
She chooses the front. “I could have used my past as a reason to fail. Instead, I use my past as a reason not to.”