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Sharon H. Abrams

Sharon Abrams

Sharon H. Abrams is the Executive Director of the Maine Children's Home for Little Wanderers in Waterville, Maine, a statewide nonprofit organization whose mission is "to build and strengthen families and their children, instilling hope for the future and a better quality of life." The agency celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1999.

Sharon has been a tireless advocate for teen parents and their needs, having taught and directed the teen parent school program of the Home from 1974 to 1990, when she became assistant director and then executive director of the organization in 1992.

What makes Sharon special is not necessarily the number of teen mothers that she has affected over her 30-year tenure, but the quality of the effect. Hundreds of pregnant and parenting girls grew into women under Sharon's careful guidance, and many of them attribute their success as mothers, partners, and citizens not to the Maine Children's Home alone, but to the individual who taught them about life, about living and about being a good mother.

Sharon created a Teen Parenting Conference in Maine five years ago, an event that continues to grow and provide important tools to those who offer services to this vulnerable and important group of young women. Her passion and high ideals for families and children are visible in her own "blended" family. She leads by example, imparting a strong belief that each person can achieve goals with proper guidance. In 1978, Sharon was selected to attend a study of the new curriculum of caring by the Kennedy Foundation in Washington, D.C., and was chosen in 1979 as one of America's Outstanding Young Women.

Sharon has brought the Maine Children's Home through its most difficult and rewarding times. In 2001, she launched a successful capital campaign to ensure the agency's longevity; a process that led to the Dorothy "Bibby" Alfond Campus of the Home that offers new and enhanced programming, employment opportunities, an astute Board of Directors, and a growing donor base.

Two gubernatorial appointments to a board and commission are testament to the important role Sharon has played in Maine's social service arena. Her past involvement on the Commission to Study Poverty Among Working Parents, as well as her current role on the Maine Board of Social Worker licensure, have afforded Sharon the ability to positively affect change on a statewide level.

Sharon has brought many honors to the Maine Children's Home, including the Maine Children's Alliance 1999 Giraffe Award, the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce 2000 Community Service Award, and the Waterville Business and Professional Women's Business of the Year Award. In 2003, the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce awarded the Home a Certificate of Achievement Award, due in large part to Sharon's outstanding leadership.

It is not only timely but fitting that such a modest, hard-working woman receive this esteemed recognition for all she has done for the children and families in Maine.

2004 Photograph

Inducted March, 2004