IWIC: What was the point in your life when you decided to make it your profession to help others?
Shameka: I’ve always had a connection with people. I noticed early on that people felt comfortable telling me their life story. I can give advice when needed without judgement. While completing my Undergraduate Degree in Criminal Justice, I started working an internship at the Probation Department. I was not interested in the person’s behavior but the “why” behind their story. I wanted to know more about their upbringing.
IWIC: Why did you chose becoming a marriage and family therapist?
Shameka: I think the profession chose me. I could not ignore the call on my life. It’s definitely a calling versus profession.
IWIC: How has Emma’s House helped others in dealing with their personal
obstacles or traumas in life?
Shameka: I’m so blessed to see people overcome pain and obstacles in their life. Emma’s House Inc. has become a place where individuals from all walks of life have experienced healing. I like to think that in life we all have dealt with some sort of pain or obstacle. Emma’s House Inc. has assisted women with “Turning Their Pain Into Purpose”. We can’t change the past but we can dictate how we respond to the situation. My own trauma has allowed me to turn my pain into purpose. Emma’s House Inc. was started because I was able to overcome the obstacles in my life in order to help other women.
IWIC: Can you relate any noteworthy anecdote or story about someone’s life you helped to change for the better?
Shameka: I’ve been really blessed to work with men and women from different ethnicities. I remember meeting a woman at one of my events. She was feeling really hopeless and had given up on life. I invited the woman to come and see me as a mentor. She was in a serious domestic violence situation at the time. I took this person under my wing and started to really speak life into her. She started to open up about her fears and past abuse. I watched a hopeless person start to speak life into others. She was able to secure housing and employment. I have many stories that have really touched my heart. This story sticks out because I had never witnessed anyone with so much pessimism.
IWIC: How have people responded to your book, Beauty from Ashes, and how has it inspired others?
Shameka: The book is groundbreaking. I like to believe the book is breaking generational curse and allowing women/men to find their voice. I’ve had so many people reach out via social media, phone or email to say they experienced sexual abuse as well. People are starting to feel more comfortable telling their story. The story is allowing others to see their potential and turn their pain into purpose.
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