Name : Shannon Carty
Hometown : Havertown
Company : HEADstrong Foundation
Position : Community Engagement Coordinator
Length of Time I have been with the Company : 1/2 a year as an intern 1 1/2 years full time (all together 2 years)
Briefly describe your journey, noting both personal milestones and obstacles you may have faced along the way : I grew up in Ridley Park and moved to Havertown when I was 9. I went to high school at Monsignor Bonner and Archbishop Prendergast Catholic High School. After high school, I planned on going to Community College due to my cancer diagnosis junior year of high school. However, I received a full ride scholarship to Saint Joseph's University and quickly changed my plans. After visiting St. Joe's I knew I was at the right college for me. At Saint Joe's majored in Sociology and minored in Interdisciplinary Health Services. I was in the Irish Dance Club and took over as Vice President my senior year. I also volunteered at the Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support which was located on SJU's campus! Spring semester my senior year was when I started interning at HEADstrong and the rest is history!
How did you hear about LDC and why did you sign up to take part in it? : I learned about LDC through my boss, Jeff Baxter, who also did this program. After he explained what LDC was, I knew that it would be vital to participate in so that I could grow both personally and professionally. As a young professional especially, the conversations I am having and lessons I am learning at LDC have been extremely helpful to me!
What inspires you? How does that inspiration play into your professional life : Something that inspires me is strength. Whether it be my own strength, the strength of loved ones, the strength of those I am working with, or the strength of strangers, strength has played a vital role in my life and every day it is my reminder to keep going and keep doing what I do. In my field of work, I am working so others can have strength to continue on in their journey of life, and every day their strength is a reminder to work hard.
Briefly, describe a transformative moment that helped to shift your approach to your career. : My biggest transformative moment in my career occurred when I was 16 years old and got diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. I struggled a lot through my diagnosis both mentally and physically in ways that almost took my life. However, that lowest point made me realize that I need to focus my career on helping others going through their own cancer battles. The day my eyes opened up to the opportunities within this field was the day I found my purpose. I now live each and every moment to the fullest because I got the chance to see the other side of the battle, and I hope I can help as many families going through similar battles through my career and my journey.
What leaders, thinkers or doers do you admire most? Why? : This question is very loaded for me and it's because I am thinking of so many people yet also thinking of no one all at the same time. There are so many people in my life who I admire, yet there are probably people I haven't met yet or people who I will never meet that are just amazing people. I feel like not all leaders have to be big named people who we all know, and sometimes some of the best leaders may just be a stranger next to you who is living life lowkey. So I am not gonna give a specific answer, because there's too many to list!
What has been the most valuable professional advice and/or lesson you’ve received? : "I learned to dance with the fear that I'd been running from" has always been one of my favorite quotes from a song written by my favorite artist, Ben Rector. I recently heard someone say something similar in a podcast I was listening too and I do think this is an extremely important lesson. Life is not always success after success, but nothing will ever be accomplished until you do what you never thought was possible.