2019 Nov. Mag.
Meet Sherita Beard Lee, A Dream Activator!
Sherita Beard Lee, A Dream Activator! In 2014 she founded the non-profit, Suite Dreams, which has two arms. The first arm provides dream spaces for students that live in undesirable spaces and the second arm provides college students with dorm room essentials so on day one they are off to a confident start. There are many elements that impact a student’s ability to perform to their maximum potential. For students who don’t have an environment conducive to having a good night’s rest and a place to complete homework, being able to be 100% as they arrive at school each day is a challenge. A college student arriving on campus without dorm essentials, takes their focus away from the opportunities they have in front of them to change their lives. She is a woman that sees an issue and takes action to try and make circumstances better. The nonprofit has assisted more than 150 college students with dorm essentials. Most recently after hearing about the Bahamian students attending Hampton University because their school was damaged by Hurricane Dorian, she held a virtual fundraiser on the road trip to Hampton, Va which provided funds for the students to secure some of their essential needs as they acclimate to the Hampton University community. She has also taken Suite Dreams to Jamaica and the Dominican Republic supporting the needs of youth homes in both areas. Suite Dreams is just one example of how she strives to make a difference in the world.
Sherita grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, where she learned the importance of giving back through working with her church’s community food program and observing the selfless actions of her mother to meet the needs of others. When asked what was the single most important life-changing event that happened in her life. Her answer was attending Spelman College. Spelman College commands its students when graduating to “Make a Choice to Change the World”.
“Spelman College equips you with the skills to be able to not only make your life better but also the lives of others. The lessons learned as a student assists with strong career success but also deposits the attributes needed to be a Dream Maker. Those attributes include leadership, confidence, discipline, determination, being humble, resilience, and a risk-taker, just to name a few,” the proud alumnae said.
Sherita believes that you should make career choices that align with your values. Working at Merck & Co. for 26 years has allowed her each day to complete work that supports making a difference in the lives of others. She has held a variety of roles in manufacturing and sales and marketing. She currently works within the global oncology marketing services area as a Launch Excellence Business Consultant and is a certified Scrum Master. At work, she wears many hats including Global Leader for the Employee Business Resource Group, LEAD (League of Employees of African Descent). In 2018 she was selected to serve as a Fellow in Merck’s Fellowship for Global Health, spending 3 months in Dakar and Tambacounda, Senegal working to develop a risk model to improve maternal mortality in the country.
Sherita is a member of the Valley Forge Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, where she serves as the Scholarship Committee Chair. In 2016 she was selected as the Memphis Alumnae chapter’s Delta of the Year and has held many roles in the organization. She is also active with the Bucks County (PA) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated where she focuses on efforts with the organization’s initiatives for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and International Awareness. With a passion for catering to the younger generation, she is a member of the Board of Collage Dance Collective (Memphis, TN), and Journey to Destiny Ministries (Dominican Republic). She currently serves as the Chair for the National Civil Rights Museum’s (Memphis, TN) fundraiser, “A Night at the Lorraine”. Sherita was recently honored as a 2019 Exceptional Woman winning the Non-Profit category award during the Tri-County YWCA’s (Pottstown, PA) 24th Annual Tribute to Exceptional Women. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, baking and spending time with family.
She attributes her success to God and three easy actions: Be Nice, Give Back, and Say Yes more than No. “All three things will boomerang back to you,” she says.
For more information on Suite Dreams visit https://www.suitedreamspace.org/