My name is Karel K. James and I’m eager to be supporting SchermCo as a Family Empowerment Fellow. I am a graduate of Johnson C. Smith University with a degree in Health & Physical Education with a Master of Health Services Administration Degree from Strayer University, with experience in Site Coordination, Reimbursement Counseling, and Benefit Verification within Corporate, Medicaid, and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools regulated settings. My career includes knowledge of Charlotte’s local systems of care and resources, providing support, and advocacy. I have acquired skills in developing and operating in a wide variety of workforces by the means of forecasting, designing, and implementing objectives, with a focus on customer service and quality assurance.

The journey into gaining said experience was all due to what I know now how best to explain it is being empowered via Social Capital. Living in a family that benefited from a close-knit community (Wedgefield, Sumter SC) where Communal Support was essential to meeting the basic needs of all families, led me to be the Empowerment Advocate I am today. The local elementary school, community center, and church were hubs of knowledge filled with leaders and mentors displaying invaluable talents and skills while sharing resources. Personally, knowing essential workers of the community (teachers, bus drivers, mechanics, board members, social workers, chefs, entrepreneurs, councilmen, etc.,) as we learned during this past year can be taken for granted.

Growing up and now continuing such strategies in my life allows for my perspective to interpret intent and demonstrate knowledge of all aspects of empowerment consultation such as coordinating with Intra/Inter agencies to certify services. It’s also important that we consider the workforce based on administrative goals, needs, and budget considerations while cultivating an inclusive workplace where diversity is valued & leveraged to achieve goals.

Professionally and personally my motivation is to continue evolving into an honorable member of society who made innovative advancements in social-impact implementation. The hope is to deliver SchermCo and our partners’ solution-based support services that remove barriers and reinforce familial strengths to enhance the quality of life of all stakeholders. Establishing generational knowledge and wealth is invaluable. Being conscious of and exposed to Social Capital within our neighborhoods is essential. It is the right of every individual to dream of the life they would like to live and have the tools to make that dream a reality.

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