Stephany is a Service Center Manager for Teachers Credit Union (TCU). She has two children - Logan, age 4 and Addison, age 6. She tells us about her journey and how she decided to lend her talent to the 2018 Dancing Like The Stars.
"A few years back, I lost my husband. At the time, my daughter was 2½ and my son was 6 months. It was for sure a hardship and there were days when I felt overwhelmed, but the amount of community support I received was overwhelming and helped me through this transition. I vowed when I got back on my feet, I would get more involved with the community. When the opportunity to participate in the Dancing Like The Stars came about, I instantly was drawn to the idea. Not only do I get to learn some fancy dancing skills, but it aligned perfectly with my passion, and that is to support our youth providing a healthier lifestyle. My two kids have been involved with the YMCA with child care and different programs, so now this is my opportunity to give back.
Just this year I decided to open up about the loss of my husband. He was an Iraq War Veteran and when he came home, he suffered greatly from PTSD. Ultimately, the disease won and took his life April of 2014. I had a hard time really opening up to anyone about it. Each year on his anniversary I would travel to get away, essentially running from the problem.
Then I started becoming more active in the community. I learned of all the great non-for-profits that help support our veterans that I never even knew existed. It made me think that we need to bring more awareness to these organizations as they could truly assist someone in a time of need. In addition, I knew that because of my tragedy, I could help bring awareness about PTSD and help families who are affected by the disease or suffering from the loss of a loved one. We held the first annual Soldier Shuffle Jesse Meredith Memorial run on his 4th anniversary and raised $10,000 to give back to our military organizations that support our veterans. It was truly a great day!"
Stephany's personal accolades include receiving the Army Achievement Medal in 2011 and again in 2016; and the REGIONAL Federal Credit Union Chairman's Award in 2013 and 2014.