you've got the power To Change Your Life

"God has not given you a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, love and a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7)

SHARON'S STORY

Sharon Alston-Harmon was born in Harlem, New York and raised by her maternal grandmother.  She was born into severe adversity.  Sadly, from age 4 to 7, she witnessed violent domestic abuse and the brutal killing of her mother by her father.  Although Sharon’s grandmother provided her with a good life and solid upbringing, growing up Sharon struggled in her personal life.  She suffered silently from emotional pain that stemmed from witnessing the abuse and death of her mother, abandonment from growing up without her parents, and shame due to having a father who killed her mother and the resulting family turmoil that it caused.  As Sharon progressed through life, she fell down many times but each time she fell down, she got back up.  To push through her adversity, she worked on strengthening her emotional health, developing her inner spiritual self and cultivating her personal growth.  Sharon learned valuable lessons from her pain and missteps brought on by adversity.  She was determined not to give up on herself.

After losing interest in high school and failing to graduate on time with her class, she realized her missteps, returned and graduated.  Sharon went on to attend college and earned an Associates of Arts in Arts & Humanities.  Later, she married and gave birth to a beautiful son.  Unfortunately, marriage presented another difficult challenge for her to overcome.  Her husband, due to his drug abuse, abandoned them thrusting Sharon into single parenthood to raise her 4 year old son on her own.  As a single mom, she relied on her faith and poured her energy into raising her son, who she considers her most cherished blessing and greatest accomplishment.

Despite Sharon’s difficult challenges, she held tightly onto strong personal values she learned from her grandmother.  Faith, perseverance, hard work, education, community service, trustworthiness and self-respect are hallmarks of her success in overcoming her adversities.  Sharon is an outspoken woman of faith, a self-motivator, a true fighter and survivor who knows plenty about overcoming adversity.  She realizes the significance of possessing the tools necessary to triumph over difficulties.   Most importantly, Sharon is keenly aware of the purpose God placed in her heart: to share her story, impart wisdom and insight to empower others.  She is very passionate about her purpose and is aware it can make a huge positive impact that can transform the lives of many people.  Sharon is excited to empower people to use their power to overcome adversity in order to achieve their goals.

After raising her son then sending him off to college, Sharon resumed her education and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies & Communications from Pace University Dyson College of Arts & Sciences in New York City and earned Honors placing her on the Dyson College Dean’s List.  Sharon is an impactful speaker.  She is an associate member of Women Speakers Association and a National Speakers Association academy member.  She served on the Board of Directors at TADA!, a New York City non-profit youth development and theater arts organization.  She was a public speaker at TADA! fundraising events to raise awareness about the benefits of theater arts as it relates to healthy youth development.  Sharon also volunteers her time and talents with Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City as a mentor and with Start Out Fresh Intervention Advocates in New Jersey as a volunteer working against domestic violence.

Sharon created and conducted her very successful You’ve Got the Power to Overcome Adversity Workshop at The Henry Street Settlement Women’s Residence in New York City where the Shift Supervisor informed her that her Power Workshop was extremely empowering for all of the women.  The Recreational Specialist also stated, "Sharon was awesome and I'm taking the plan of action empowerment kit home that she distributed to complete the exercises myself.  Her empowerment kit is great!"  

One of the women who attended the workshop followed Sharon's instructions on how to set new goals and follow through on achieving them.  The woman attendee visited a local library immediately after the workshop.  She withdrew three reference books to assist her in accomplishing her goal of returning to college.  This is power in action of a client who applied what she learned to conquer her adversity after attending Sharon's Power Workshop.  

In addition, as a single mom, Sharon was inspired to create a teen empowerment workshop that focuses on goal setting strategies to provide teens with an understanding of accountability, responsibility and time management, among other workshop topics.  She strongly believes that every teenager deserves to be affirmed and empowered to reach their full potential.  Recently, Sharon conducted her successful Teen Power Workshop at Teaneck High School in Teaneck, New Jersey and was awarded a Certificate of Recognition from The National Coalition of 100 Black Women for her outstanding participation in their Adopt-A-School Education Symposium.  

Formerly, Sharon hosted a one hour online radio talk show, Sharon Speaks Power, at Gyroscope Media Group studio in Paterson, New Jersey.  Sharon Speaks Power-GS Radio's platform focused on empowerment that provided people with positive content that uplifted, informed and empowered them to successfully push forward to overcome adversity, as well as, set and achieve new goals and live life with purpose, faith and power.  Sharon interviewed an amazing guest every Saturday who shared their story of facing and conquering an adversity or personal challenge as well as discussed their profession to encourage others to pursue their dreams. 

Last but not least, Sharon is writing her first book,  "Elizabeth’s Daughter:  There's Power in Adversity," an inspiring memoir about overcoming adversity.  To book Sharon to speak, host an event or conduct a Power Workshop, please click Contact on the menu and complete form to receive a reply within 24 hours from Sharon. 

Sharon is a resident in the state of New Jersey.  She's a proud single-mom of a Harvard University graduate and her son will be attending Yale Law School.

 

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Power Mom & Son Team!  Yes we did that!  2017 Harvard Graduate.

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When we speak power into the lives of our children, especially our sons, all things are possible.  Needless to say, I'm very proud of my son!

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It's never too late and you're never too old to set a new goal.

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Was honored to be recognized by NCBW Bergen/Passaic and Teaneck Public Schools.

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Conducted a phenomenal Teen Power Workshop at Teaneck High School, Teaneck, NJ.

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I Love being a Big!  Been rocking with BBBS-NYC since 2014 and there's no better way to use my Power than mentoring a kid!  

Adversity is an integral part of life

Adversity can sidetrack people, cause them to fall down, and lose their focus. Everyone will experience adversity.  It affects the human spirit and can negatively impact your life placing you in a state of unhappiness, low self-esteem, fear, discouragement, confusion, frustration, anger or shame.  However, adversity can also empower you to push forward in your life to do great things but you may need some help.  Advancing through adversity can be difficult.  I know firsthand about the pain of adversity and what it can do to a person.  However, I also know firsthand from my experiences that there is power and purpose in the pain of adversity that can lift you up to push you forward.

 

What challenges are you facing in your life that are holding you back? 

What is your adversity?

 What do you want to do with your life?

 

Over the years, adversity has taught me valuable lessons that I have poured into my You’ve Got the Power: Overcoming Adversity Workshop for one purpose:  to empower people; to help people successfully advance through and overcome difficult life challenges because I believe that every person has a purpose to fulfill and do great things with their life.  However, many people don’t realize that there is power and purpose in their pain or how to access that power to push them forward.

The Power Workshop is designed with an effective Plan of Action Empowerment Kit (“POA Kit”)  for every person, young and old, because no one is immune to adversity.  The POA Kit is packed with a set of life skills, tools and strategies to empower people to transform their adversity into a wonderful opportunity to overcome their personal challenges and achieve their goals in life whatever they may be.  All of the tips, tools and exercises in the POA Kit I have applied to my own life and still apply them today because they work.  In addition, I offer a Teen Empowerment Workshop that focuses on developing goal setting strategies, providing teens with an understanding of accountability, responsibility and character building.  Teens face challenges as well and they deserve to be empowered to successfully reach their full potential to achieve their goals.  It's important for teens to learn that adversity does not define who they are and they have the power to overcome their challenges.  

I want my story to inspire people.  Nothing is more rewarding than having people inform me that my story and the Power Workshop transformed their lives.  

Don't allow adversity to pull you away from your purpose.  Take the first step toward victory and book a Power Workshop today for an organization, non-profit group, high school students, college students, young adults, youth group, mentoring program,  adult women, single mothers, adult men, single fathers or a private one-on-one session.  Contact me.  I want to hear from you.  You’ve Got the Power!

Plan of Action (POA) Empowerment Workshop

The POA Empowerment Workshop is a hands-on, interactive experience that provides clients (young and older adult men and women, single moms and dads, teen boys and girls), who are willing to do the work, with a set of life changing, power tips, tools, and strategies that empowers them to push forward, overcome adversity, personal challenges, devise a goal setting strategy, accomplish new goals, evaluate their progress, realize their vision in expectation of a bountiful harvest, and live life with purpose, faith and power as a result of their hard work during and after the workshop.

Overcome Adversity POA Empowerment Workshop

  • Speaker Introduction

  • Distribution of POA Empowerment Kit

  • Overcoming Adversity PowerPoint Presentation

  • Setting New Goals:  POA Empowerment Workshop Exercise

    • goal setting strategy

    • progress assessment

    • self-accountability report

    • power journaling

  • Harvest Realization:  POA Empowerment Workshop Exercise

    • create harvest vision

  • Q&A

  • Closing

Teen Empowerment Workshop

  • Goal Setting Strategy

  • Harvest & Vision Realization

  • Accountability & Responsibility

  • Character & Self-Confidence Building

  • Walk of Truth Exercise

  • Lessons Learned

 

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Elizabeth's Daughter

a memoir ABOUT overcoming witnessing domestic violence

and the murder of my mother BY MY FATHER

 

Introduction

 

I was introduced to adversity at a very early age. Unbeknownst to me, I was born into adversity. I remember witnessing from age four to seven the consistent violent abuse of my mother by the hands of my father when he was around my mother, brother, and me. The abuse happened in various places. Sometimes it was in our small Bronx, New York apartment that my mother and father shared, or on the fifth floor in the hallway outside of Nana’s (my mother’s mother and my maternal grandmother) Harlem, New York, apartment at 38 West 139th Street and Lenox Avenue; or as my father, mother, brother, and I were walking down the stairs after leaving Nana’s apartment. I remember hearing my father argue at my mother and seeing him hit my mother once we reached the last set of stairs before exiting the building.

Both the Bronx and Harlem apartments were walk-ups. I remember the uneasy feelings I experienced when my father, mother, brother, and I had to walk up and down those stairs to enter or exit either of those apartment buildings. I dreaded those stairs, not because of the climb but because I didn’t know what my father was going to do to my mother. I felt unsafe.

My brother, Derek, and I spent most of our time at Nana’s apartment. As a little girl growing up, I didn’t know domestic abuse by its name or had any other kind of knowledge about domestic abuse for that matter. However, even as a little girl, I knew and felt inside of me that my father was doing something horrible to my mother, and I couldn’t wait for him to leave us, because it felt so good when he wasn’t around. During some of those times when he wasn’t around, my mother took Derek and me to the park. I was so happy when I felt the warmth of her hand as she held my hand to cross the street. I loved looking at my mother’s face because she was beautiful to me and had such nice brown flawless skin. When she would turn her back to me in our small Bronx kitchen, getting ready to wash dishes and cook dinner before my father came home, I would play with one of my dolls near the kitchen entrance just to be close to her. I would admire the back of her head because of her pinned-up french roll hairstyle. When my father came home, those uneasy feelings would resurface. My mother would send my brother and me to our room, where we shared bunk beds. From our room I could hear my father arguing at my mother, and she would close the door to our room and tell us to stay in our room, get in our pajamas, play together, and she would tuck us in later. During those times, I would climb up to the top bunk with my brother. We’d put our hands over our ears and eventually fall asleep.

I remember another time when Derek and I were fake sleeping in our room and heard my father yell at my mother that he was “going to take Sharon and Derek.”

My mother said to my father, “Artie, please leave them alone; they’re sleeping.”

There was always something going on with my father when it came to my mother, even though she didn’t do or say anything wrong. His abuse was unpredictable—sometimes. However, it became expected after a while, because when his rants toward my mother ended, the physical abuse usually followed. It seemed like his behavior was a way of life for us—like it was normal for a husband to hit his wife. It was like all of us had been conditioned to accept that notion, but even as a little girl, deep inside of me in my private thoughts, I rejected it, because I knew it wasn’t normal. Even if it was normal, then it wasn’t nice, and I didn’t like it.

My mother loved my father. Perhaps she thought things would get better if she stayed with him. She really hoped that things would change with my father, especially since she had two kids whom she adored with him. But, unfortunately, things didn’t change. Things continued to get worse. As much as my mother loved my father, she also feared him. She feared the uncertainty of what he would do if she left him. She feared that one day he would really take my brother and me away. She also feared being the cause of breaking up her family. Derek and I meant the world to our mother. All she wanted was to be a good wife, loving mother and for my brother and me to have a father, our own father, in our lives. My mother also wanted to study to become a nurse. That was her dream.

My mother, Drucilla Elizabeth Butts, was born March 21, 1938, and my father, Arthur (“Artie”) Alston, was born June 8, 1938. My mom met my father when they were both teenagers. She was in high school. A lot of boys liked my mother, but Artie was her first and only love. As a matter of fact, my mother married my father after graduating from high school. Nana wasn’t happy about that at all because my grandmother knew my mother wanted to study nursing and work in a hospital to help people. Nana also felt that my mother was too young to get married and that she should’ve waited until at least after she started a nursing program. But Nana went along with my mother’s plans because she loved her daughter and wanted her to be happy.

My mother was so young, innocent, naïve, and full of life and dreams, but she fell in love with my father. He was nicely built, tall, with brown skin, thick black eyebrows and nice facial features. He really was handsome. My mother didn’t waste any time starting her family after graduating high school and then getting married. She had me first when she was only nineteen years old in New York City’s Harlem Hospital in March 1957. Then my brother arrived thirteen months later, in April 1958, at the same hospital.

Anyway, when I was little, I recall hearing my grandmother tell my mother several times to leave my father.

Nana told her, “Bouie (that was my mother’s nickname), Artie ain’t no good.”

My father was a controlling, jealous man and a violent abuser. I don’t know why. Frankly, the source of his controlling behavior did not excuse the way he treated my mother behind closed doors and especially in front of his two kids, Derek and me.

There was another time I recall vividly when my father came to my grandmother’s apartment to get my mother, brother, and me to take us home to our Bronx apartment. My brother and I must have been about five and six years old. I remember not wanting to go. My mother wanted all of us to stay overnight at Nana’s place, but my father was not having that. So she got us ready, and we left Nana’s house.

Once again as we were walking down the stairs from Nana’s apartment, Artie was arguing at my mother. About what, I don’t know. It was just a lot of angry noise to me. When those incidents happened, my mother didn’t say much. She remained calm and quiet with her focus on Derek and me. She’d grab our hands to steer us down the stairs as quickly as possible and tried not to do or say anything that would provoke Artie.

Sometimes, though, she did say, “Artie, please—the kids.”

But it didn’t matter to him. He kept right on arguing.

There was another incident in the hallway at Nana’s apartment when Artie came to get my mother, but this time she went out into the hallway to speak to him instead. She left Derek and me inside with Nana. All of a sudden, I heard my mother screaming. Nana heard her too. Nana ran out to the hallway. I was right behind Nana. We looked up and saw my mother holding on to the frail wooden window frames for dear life as my father was trying to push her out of the fifth-floor hallway window. Nana started yelling at Artie, and a neighbor came out and then threatened to call the cops if Artie didn’t take his hands off my mother. He let my mother go and then ran down the stairs and out of the building.

There were times when Derek and I were at Nana’s apartment playing in the living room and Nana was either talking on the phone or had company over, and she told us, “Baby, y’all go on in the back room and play, because Nana is talking. This is grown folks’ conversation. Nana want y’all to stay in a child’s place.”

Even though I was in the back room playing with my doll, I could still hear Nana talk about my father and all the crazy things he had accused my mother of doing and how she wished my mother would just leave him. Not only was my father a violent domestic abuser, he started abusing drugs too. So Nana definitely was not happy about that.

Nana used to say that my father would accuse my mother of dating the bus driver when she greeted the driver while getting on or off the bus when she was just being courteous. Nana said if my mother got off work late, then Artie thought she must be with someone else. I remember Nana saying so many times that if my mother looked too nice, in my father’s mind, she must be looking nice for someone else. If my mother was at Nana’s apartment with Derek and me too long, then she must be meeting a man over there. Those were some of the outrageous accusations that I heard about over many years of my life regarding my father’s controlling and jealous behavior. Of course, none of those crazy accusations were ever true, not one. My mother loved her some Artie. Everyone and anyone who knew my mother and grandmother would throw their hands up in the air, shake their heads, and say the same thing Nana had been saying for years:

“Elizabeth, leave him. Artie is dangerous, Bouie; he’s possessive, controlling, and sneaky; and now he’s using drugs. He ain’t no damn good for you and those kids, Bouie.”

Unfortunately, Nana was right.

Book A Workshop

For booking inquiries regarding a POA Empowerment Workshop, Public Speaking and Hosting Events, contact Sharon by completing the form to your right.  Thank you!

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