YouthBuild North Central West Virginia, Elkins, West Virginia
When Sharell Harmon lost childcare assistance due to an increase in her hourly wage, an essential support system disappeared. Soon, things spiraled. Without dependable childcare, her work hours were reduced and she eventually lost her job. Soon, she lost her car, then ultimately her own house – where she was celebrating her second year in the first home of her very own. She had three children who depended on her, and she felt shattered.
In need of a fresh start, Sharell entered YouthBuild North Central West Virginia, where she found a support system that was able to support and guide her.
“From the day I stepped foot into YouthBuild North Central West Virginia, my life has never been the same,” Sharell said. “It’s like I jumped onto a moving train to success.” In her third month of the program, she represented the organization at the 2015 Conference of Young Leaders, where gave a speech in front of more than 200 people. Her talent and drive got her elected into the YouthBuild USA Young Leaders Council. Sharell credits the encouragement of her case manager Michelle as the catalyst.
“She made me feel invincible and powerful,” Sharell said. “I knew it was my time to step up. I was born a leader, I just never felt or recognized it until I came across the YouthBuild movement.”
As a YouthBuild student, Sharell earned various certifications, volunteered in her community, and positioned herself for success. Her passion for rural advocacy was unleashed. After YouthBuild, she started a service year, providing emergency food supplies to low-income people in Randolph County, West Virginia.
I am now the happiest I have ever been in my entire life. I feel unstoppable. It is scary to think that I would have never had any of these experiences had I not come across YouthBuild. My leadership was exposed through YouthBuild and now I am a phenomenal young woman and my future is brighter than it has ever been. I am back on the path to success. YouthBuild was my compass, guiding me along the way.