Paying it forward as she moves from adversity to global advocacy
Growing up in a family of five children and living in impoverished rural Oklahoma, Sylidia began working at age fifteen and was financially responsible for herself while maintaining her education and graduating from high school in 1987. Then one event or another began consuming her life. In 1988 an abusive relationship resulted in someone shooting her. While recovering from multiple surgeries, she learned she was pregnant. Now pregnant, unable to work, and with years of recovery ahead of her, Sylidia's life turned to being a mother first while striving to overcome the financial and emotional challenges of her life. Later, given custody of and adopting a family member's three children and adding another of her own, Sylidia continued to place her own needs on hold until Fall of 2011. Just as her youngest child started high school, she started college at age 41!
Sylidia will be the first in her family to obtain a college degree. She knows the struggles of poverty and wishes to pay forward the generosity that others showed in times of her need. An Honors Program participant and Dean's List student, she is active in the Non-Profit Leadership Alliance Program and Project See Through. Sylidia is obtaining her International Business degree to provide her with the tools to work in a global nonprofit community.