Sheila began her "academic journey at the age of forty while working in Providence as a self-employed hairstylist and esthetician. I was a non-traditional student – a mother, working full-time, in college because I wanted to be there, motivated and eager to learn. I was able to transform my life and make some great friends along the way. I will always be grateful to the excellent faculty and staff at the School of Social Work."
Sheila currently serves as Clinical Social Worker in the Outpatient Dialysis Center of RI Hospital and is an adjunct professor at Rhode Island College School of Social Work. She is also a faculty member in the RI State Victims Assistance Academy and adjunct faculty at Wheelock College where she teaches a course titled Children who Witness Violence.
From 2007 -2010 Sheila served as the Director of Victim Services at the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence where she provided outreach, support, counseling, and advocacy to families of homicide victims throughout Rhode Island. While at the Institute Sheila also supervised the Juvenile Reentry Program which transitions high risk gang involved youth from RI's Training School back to the community.
From 1997 to 2007, Sheila was an administrator at Head Start serving 1,213 children and families in Providence and the Blackstone Valley area. As the only Mental Health Professional on staff Sheila provide crisis intervention and support to classrooms and families during times of neighborhood violence and other traumatic incidents. She generated agency policies and procedures, including emergency evacuation plans for nine Head Start sites and program policies and procedures for dealing with child abuse and neglect. She also coordinated a state advocacy campaign to protest President Bush's proposal to move Head Start from the Department of Health and Human Services to the Department of Education. As founding director of Prevention Services of New England, Sheila brought the BABES (Beginning Alcohol and Addictions Basic Education Studies) program to thousands of children and families in treatment agencies, hospitals and schools throughout Southern New England.