Alumni News

Sheri Benham accepts 2011 Emerging Leader Award

Congratulations to Sheri Benham (BSW 2003 and MSW 2004) who received the Bloomington 2011 Emerging Leader award from the City this spring. Sheri came to the Bloomington BSW program motivated by her commitment to help troubled and homeless teens from her years as a foster parent. After receiving her MSW degree, she helped form a non-profit agency, Stepping Stones (http://www.steppingstones-inc.org/) that assists teens who are homeless but who are trying to transition to independent living with jobs and an apartment. Sheri is the executive director. Since its beginnings in 2004, Stepping Stones has served 40 young adults, 16 to 20 years old. It is the only organization in the south central Indiana area that addresses the needs of young people experiencing homelessness.

Sheri says, “Getting my social work degree was one of the first steps in weaving various threads of my life together. It exposed me to strength-based approaches and clients’ rights of self-determination which helped make me a better foster parent. And through my work as a foster parent coupled with social work classes and research, I saw the need for a housing program in Bloomington and was able to design the program.”

Our best wishes to Sheri and Stepping Stones for continued success in meeting an important need in the community.