SHEILA GEORGE was not born with a silver spoon in her mouth. According to her nominator “she married young, had three children before she was 25, suffered domestic violence, endured two bitter divorces, lost a son to senseless violence and still rose like a phoenix to become a phenomenal woman.” She chose to remain in East Palo Alto, her home for 30 years, to help the children. Following the death of her son, Sheila established the model teen home for troubled girls and then she started the Positive Image Awards to honor hard-working, unsung heroes in East Palo Alto who were striving to reduce the violence that had claimed too many lives.
Prominent and famous people such as Terry McMillan, Maya Angelou and others have participated in the Awards. Sheila also helped start a support group for parents who had lost children to violent crime. For her creative efforts, Sheila has won many awards, including the National Kraft Award for Outstanding Community Service, the Channel 2 Family to Family Award and proclamations from Congresswoman Anna Eshoo. Original, visionary and self-directed, Sheila’s efforts have greatly improved the quality of life in her community. She is a role model of how to run adversity into triumph.