Do you have a goal or dream you’ve not yet achieved? Maybe you’re daunted by what it will take to make it happen, or perhaps you’re hesitating to put yourself first. How would it feel to have someone’s full commitment to support you in the process? 

Every year, Shequan Palmer and her husband take turns supporting each other in achieving a big goal. Last year, it was Shequan’s turn, and she chose to explore her longtime curiosity for pageantry. She’d always dreamed of participating when she was younger but felt restricted by her family’s financial means and challenging circumstances. Although she initially hesitated to begin a pageant journey in her 30s, she found the Mrs. International Pageant a natural fit. Palmer rose as the top finalist in the local competition and won the title for Arizona. She won in all three categories: Your Mind is a Magnet Innovation Scholarship, the People’s Choice, and finally, Mrs. Arizona International. Then, Shequan moved on to the international competition, where she met women from all over the nation and the globe. There, she placed number six in the top 15 finalists.

Shequan inspired viewers with her platform on raising awareness of the impacts of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Shequan grew up in a home riddled with ACEs and hardships. To cope with her family experiences, she sought to understand her family history and how the cards were stacked against her parents and grandparents due to generational trauma. In connecting with her ancestors’ stories, she saw how clearly ACEs have multi-generational impacts. The more she learned about ACEs and her family history, the more empowered Shequan felt to ensure ACEs would not continue to define her future or her sons’ future. 

Today, Shequan works at Open Hearts Family Wellness as its Community-Based Operations Manager. As a former educator, Shequan’s favorite programming involves providing individual support to students in school, as well as family coaching services in the home. She frequently conducts outreach to school leadership to help them understand how implementing behavior coaching can increase student attendance, improve homework delivery and test scores, and help teachers feel supported. 

Above all, Shequan hopes that every child and every parent has the opportunity to be supported in their goals. Her motto is to “flourish within your means,” which she hopes all families have the chance to do. If you are interested in helping families flourish, visit the Open Hearts website or contact Shequan to learn more about her work in schools and pageantry.