Monday, May 11, 2009

Volunteer Spotlight: Autumn Sharp

First year mentor Autumn Sharp has worked diligently with not one, but two students this year. She started the year with Senior, Terrisha Brownlow and after she left the program, she kindly stuck around as a substitute mentor until she was finally paired up a few months ago with Kanah Bradley, a sophomore at Von Steuben High School. Though she now works as a lawyer at Much Shelist, immediately after graduating from Ohio University she worked as a junior high and high school teacher. Her time spent in Columbus, OH classrooms teaching students with developmental handicaps and learning disabilities served to further develop her passion for helping youth succeed. About her current student Kanah, she says “I’m so happy to be working with someone who definitely has a bright future. We’re working to make it even brighter!”

Autumn is in a great position to do this as an attorney working for Much Shelist since her student Kanah is also interested in becoming a lawyer. In fact, Autumn has known that she wanted to go to law school since she was 11 years old! She attributes her early interest in the law to the amount of Cagney and Lacey she watched when she was a girl. Not wanting her daughter to be shot on the job working as a private investigator, Autumn’s mother strongly encouraged her to consider seeking justice in the courtroom as a lawyer rather than in the streets as a police detective like her childhood television heroes, detectives Christine Cagney and Mary Beth Lacey.

Now intimately familiar with the day to day life as an attorney, Autumn is eager to share her knowledge and experiences with Kanah, so that she’ll be in a better position to make an informed decision about her own career. However, Autumn is careful not to push her too hard in one direction or the other since she realizes that Kanah may very well take a different path than the one that she herself took. For this reason, Autumn is already thinking about setting up some job shadowing opportunities for Kanah, who is also entertaining thoughts of practicing medicine, this summer with an Ob/Gyn and a family practice doctor that she knows.

After mentoring at Cabrini Connections for less than a year, Autumn is already committed to helping to sustain our program into the future by assisting with fundraising. Now that she has a good grasp on the life-changing difference our program can make in the lives of kids and adults alike, she wants to take the next step and try to bring us some much-needed resources by fundraising through her personal and professional networks. We very much appreciate efforts like these and for your continued dedication to our program. Congratulations Autumn, you certainly deserve the volunteer spotlight!

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