A powerful and inspirational speaker, that has a fierce conviction against adversity, initiates change. An activist with a strong academic foundation and continued professional development, who challenges institutional standards through actions and words, is dedicated to empowering children, adults and community through training, education and support.
My name is Sheila Radziewicz, and I was born with a rare congenital defect called TAR (thrombocytopenia absent radius). My story is about overcoming adversity. My doctors did not expect me to live and when I did, I had to endure numerous medical interventions, including blood transfusions, long inpatient care and multiple surgeries. This has enabled me to live a full and independent life.
Growing up, my mother kept telling me: “The impossible only takes a little longer,” and I have taken this to heart in everything I do. I drive my own car, have my own apartment, work a great job – I even earned a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.
My story has been all over the world, from Salem to Boston (via FOX 25) to England and India.
I have spoken about my life – how to live in an able-bodied society with a disability – to programs around New England, including the Shriners, Easter Seals and the Essex County District Attorney’s office. I recently became a consultant/trainer for a statewide program called “Awareness and Action: Educating Persons with Disabilities on Recognizing, Reporting and Responding to Abuse”.
I have also presented my story at schools around the area, including Swampscott High School.
I know what it’s like to be teased, bullied and ignored, but I also know how to live positively, stand up for myself and fight against ignorance. I am dedicated to empowering children, adults and community through my experience and training.
This is what’s been said of my presentations:
“Woven into her speech were important lessons about bullies, handicapped awareness and body image. Sheila is truly inspirational, articulate and emanates tremendous strength of character.” Mr Buck Harris, Swampscott High School, Health Sciences Faculty
“Sheila’s story and the creative strategies she incorporates into her life to achieve her personal and professional goals are inspirational. When you look at Sheila, you don’t see obstacles, you see accomplishments. Her joy is contagious and her zest for life sincere.”
Bernadette H. White, Director of Public Relations, Shriners Hospitalsfor Children
I also have clips from newspaper and magazine articles and videos on my website, www.sheilaradziewicz.com.
I would be more than happy to discuss bringing my presentation to your organization, school, hospital or business.
Currently the Program Coordinator for Healing Abuse Working for Change (HAWC) out of Salem District Court, where she also served as a Family Advocate. Within the Legal Advocacy program, she established a manual for legal advocates, facilitates and participates in the Lynn High Risk Assessment Team, expanded the domestic violence training curriculum to include violence against persons with disabilities, wrote a grant that provided funding for the development and implementation of a disability awareness curricula for children, and provides professional training and consultation to criminal justice and victim service agencies, family service providers, hospitals and schools concerning domestic violence advocacy, safety and high-risk assessment.
Easter Seals- Youth Leadership Conference,Bridgewater, Mass, July 2011
Aleppo Shrine Temple Ceremonial Meeting,Wilmington, Mass, June 2011
Disabled Persons Protection Commission,Braintree,Mass., April 2011
Aleppo Shrine Temple Annual Meeting,Wilmington,Mass., April 2011
Swampscott High School, Swampscott, Mass., April 2011
West Memorial Elementary,Peabody,Mass., April 2011
Burke Elementary,Peabody,Mass., April 2011
Essex County District Attorney’s Office,Salem,Mass., March 2011
Melha Shrine Temple Ceremonial Meeting,Springfield,Mass., December 2010
Bruce McCorry’s Martial Arts,Peabody,Mass., December 2010
Easter Seals Annual Meeting,Waterbury,Conn., November 2010
FOX-25 News Interview,Waltham,Mass., November 2010
Police Academy,North Reading,Mass., April 2010
Master of Science, Northern Arizona University,Flagstaff,Ariz., 2004
Bachelor of Arts in Government, Cum Laude,Suffolk University,Boston,Mass., 2001