Dr. Sharita Mathis-Lawson

by Terry Watson | July 14th, 2017
Dr. Sharita Mathis-Lawson (Photos by Media Lane Photography)

Dr. Sharita Mathis-Lawson (Photos by Media Lane Photography)

Self motivated, committed, driven, creative, an out the box thinker. These are just a few ways to describe Sharita Mathis-Lawson, a single mother of four who has recently obtained a doctor of philosophy in leadership studies from North Carolina A&T State University. “I am a goal setter who is always trying to be better than I was on yesterday. I try to maintain balance on every level; physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I am a servant leader who loves to support other,” she says.

While pursuing academic excellence, Lawson found her self in a uncomfortable place. She was pregnant with her fourth child and didn’t really know what the future held for her. She found peace after enrolling in Iylana Vanzant’s personal development program from Inner Vision Institute of Spiritual Development. “When I started there I was in a dark place. I was so broken and depressed when I discovered Iyanla and her work. So by the time she tweeted about her school, I knew I had to be there. That program saved my life. I got grounded, and really spent time getting to know myself,” she says.

After receiving her PhD, many things in Lawson’s life were confirmed. “It is a demonstration to myself that I can do whatever I choose. Nothing is too big or out of reach and I am living demonstration to my girls of what is possible in life. Nobody can ever tell them what’s not possible because they saw me do it,” she says.

At age 39, she is an adjunct instructor at NC A&T and founder of an online social movement called, Black Girls Cheer, which is devoted to showing the world that Black girls cheer, and do so much more. “We are dedicated to creating equity in the cheerleading industry by promoting opportunities to cheerleaders and providing platforms to give voice and visibility to cheerleaders of color.”

During her time as a graduate teaching assistant at NC A&T, she piloted a student retention and success program that consists of a series of workshops and individual coaching sessions. These programs are designed to support education preparatory students in self-exploration and the discovery of meaning and purpose in college and in life. Students identified to participate in this pilot program are in danger of non-admittance into the EPP program.

Moving forward, Lawson plans to continue with her organization, Black Girls Cheer and promote scholarships, athletics and leadership in young girls. On the academic side, she hopes to build her program and continue to help support college students to excel in school.

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