Why Am I Here?

YWCA Chief Operating Officer Sadie Winlock (left) and Aon Risk Solutions' Jennifer Bell at YWCA Women of Achievement Awards Luncheon.

Sadie Winlock of YWCA Greater Cleveland (left) and Jennifer Bell of Aon Risk Solutions at YWCA Women of Achievement Awards Luncheon.

By Sadie Winlock, YWCA Chief Operating Officer Why am I here? Do you ever ask yourself that question?  Well, throughout my life, that has been a question I’ve asked myself because I seem to end up in the most unlikely places.

I wanted to be a prima ballerina and ended up having a long career in a for-profit organization that went from private to public; lived in ten different cities across five states, following that job and that paycheck. I now find myself in the non-profit world, and asking myself again: why am I here?

If you were like me, with a bunch of corporate experience and working in a company that was “all about the money,” it’s difficult to imagine being anywhere else; especially in an organization that is all about the “cause.”  What? Working for a cause? But when I look back over my many personal and professional experiences, I am here because ….

• I know what it feels like to lose a parent at the age of nine
• I know what it means to be alone in a big city, with a small town idea of life
• I know what it means to try to attend school with no financial support
• I know what it’s like to be a parent of a child with a disability
• I know what it’s like for people to stare at you and your child because s/he walks or talks funny!
• I know what it’s like to be different and feel like no one understands you (not interested in boys and just wanted to dance, dance, dance)!


So, I am the Chief Operating Officer at YWCA Greater Cleveland, where we serve and support those without parents; those who are homeless; those with dreams and desires to go to school with no financial support; those who have experienced trauma or have a disability; those who get those uncomfortable stares from people who don’t understand; and, those who have a God-given talent that want to share it with the world.

I am so proud to be at this place at this time. And, if you ever ask yourself that question –  Why Am I Here? –  know you will soon find out and you will be able to serve, support and give back like you never thought you could!

What is your passion? 


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