Shelia Simpkins McClain’s story began with sexual abuse at an early age, followed by running away from home and early drug use. By the time Shelia was 18, she was being prostituted and was subsequently trafficked across the country. Shelia has learned to turn her past experiences into the driving force behind her desire to help those who are victims of trafficking. She’s been able to turn all the wrongs in her life into her greatest asset and a sense of empowerment.
Shelia is a living example to those we serve of a rich full life after trafficking; as a wife, mother and educated professional woman. She has a B.A. in Psychology, earned in order to provide a higher level of service to survivors. She recently was accepted in the UT Knoxville MSSW Program with concentration in Organizational Leadership.
Shelia is currently the Senior Case Coordinator of Thistle Farms Residential Magdalene Program. She sits on the Human Trafficking Advisory Council for the State of Tennessee. She’s the survivor advocate for Cherished Hearts a Davidson County Trafficking Court. Shelia has been featured in The New York Times, and NPR, She was featured in the PBS documentary, “A Path Appears,”
I am truly grateful for ms. sheila.She is a very awesome rolemodel and she calls me out on my bs.She has helped me start to change my life and change myself to be a better person.Im a resident at magdalene.I first came to drug court and was in cherished hearts at ms sheilas house.Im just beginning to have a normal life again.Im just so grateful for this program and so excited about my future.
Roby, that is powerful and inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing and may your journey to healing be blessed.