"Only way to Help others,
is to Help yourself"
Cherriel is in the Leadership Program of the Inspiring Children Foundation. She has found the joy life has to offer, but only after getting a second and third chance at living. To really know Cherriel, you need to know where she came from, and what she survived.
Today we continue our series on the Inspiring Children Foundation and I am very excited to introduce you to one most joyful, resilient, and positive humans I've ever meet. When we sat down for this conversation she was only 15 years old, I believe she's 16 by know, but she has wisdom and experience beyond her years. Her name is Cherriel Odell, and her story is one of rebirth, given second or even third chance at life, and she has taken full advantage of the joy that life has to offer. I'd been spending time hanging out with the kids in the foundation during their Leadership Retreat, and what struck me about Cherriel was her easy going nature and how she didn’t think twice about taking time to get to know me. And that was a trait I noticed with all of the Foundation youth. They have a natural inquisitiveness and genuine curiosity. Cherriel has a sense of calmness, peace of mind, and self-assuredness that really stands out. I remember her feeling no inhibition to singing in the back of the Foundation van, especially when a song by Jewel came on.
But knowing who Cherriel is today can really only be understood by knowing her past. She grew up with two divorced parents, both of whom were serious alcoholics. I'll let the interview get into the details of her difficult young life, but she faced a such level of emotional neglect and guilt, it eventually led her to two near fatal attempts of taking her own life.
But I'll let her tell you the rest in this interview. I had been told shortly after arriving at the Leadership Retreat that I really needed allow for some extended time with Cherriel. Not knowing what I was about to hear, I just focused on getting out of the way and letting her flow. She's seen worse days than most of us will ever see, but she is a bright light, an unstoppable force for happiness that some of us can only dream of being.
So please welcome, Cherriel Odell, from the Inspriing Children Foundation.
Thanks for listening,