Born into the fundamentalist church community, Shirlee left behind a culture of oppression and polygamy to become a single mother of her four children, two with special needs. “I know what it is to be an outsider, from every angle,” she says. Shirlee hopes to use her education to work with others fleeing fundamentalist communities and change policies so low-income individuals have better chances of succeeding.
"Despite being spread thinly with all my responsibilities (including mother, student, employee and volunteer), I am able to maintain a 4.0 grade point average. I am motivated to leverage my own experiences to make life better for others through advocacy, policy and services."