We had the good fortune of connecting with Susana Morell and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Susana, how do you think about risk?
Risk is truly an obstacle when you decide you want to become an agent of change. I have interacted with it on several occasions not only personally but also professionally. I have experienced in my career that when you desire to introduce change and not conform you are a liability. I don’t agree. I have followed my passion and it led me to write a book, create a curriculum, provide grief and loss counseling to children ages 6-17 (utilizing my own curriculum), write a parent guide and facilitate parent workshops, and begin a nonprofit in the middle of a pandemic (August 2020). All highly risky! The outcome supporting many children and their families. A child deserves to be acknowledged and my program gives their heart a voice. Once they and their families recover from dysfunction not only do, they benefit, but we all benefit!

What should our readers know about your business?
My story is one that catapulted a grieving woman into a businesswoman. I knew there would be obstacles to may an attempt not only as a woman but as a Hispanic to bring attention to the need for children in unprivileged areas to obtain adequate counseling. Many people tried to discourage me and stated I had too many hurdles to jump and if I was truly smart, I would give up. Well, it’s unfortunate that people may not have believed in me but after you lose everything you don’t fear anything. My losses and bad experiences to date have been those out of a horror movie. I picked myself up and made a choice to honor my mother and move forward I really do believe it’s the best way to honor her and utilize all that she instilled in me. To embark on this journey felt exhilarating to be able to navigate people out of unresolved hurt, anger, heartache, and depression. The main challenges I continue to face is bringing awareness to the Nonprofit’s mission. I knock on doors but since I don’t have introductions made or don’t know the right people it’s extremely difficult to be heard.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If I had an opportunity to take my best friend out on the town, I would definitely take her to Kemah Boardwalk. We could not only enjoy Saltgrass steakhouse, but we would have access to a gorgeous view off the pier and watch the sunset go down. The area offers many shops, dining, and on occasion live music. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy life!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to give a shoutout to Ms. Debbie Drake. She became a surrogate mom to me as I worked thorough my internship for my graduate program. I took six weeks off due to my mother having a stroke and falling into a diabetic coma. When she woke up from her comma, she was half paralyzed, and her esophagus had closed so she would not be able to speak or eat. We were forced with the hardest decision ever to place her in a nursing home. I was twenty-four years old, and I not only lost my best friend, my co-parent, but my rock. She didn’t leave me an option to pursue a career so that I could support myself and my son. I couldn’t see a life without her it felt so lost and disillusioned. Unfortunately, my mother was the glue that kept the family together and without her I lost my support system. What I gained was a lot of rejection, shame, guilt, and insults to boot. My siblings and my father felt that my mom caring for my son created her illness. I almost believed that until I met Ms. Debbie. She helped me rebuild my life, challenged me so I could use all my potentials as a counselor in training, with her guidance, mentorship, and support I evolved into an exceptional mentee and graduated with Master’s in Clinical Psychology. Today, I have been in the field for twenty-one years and I never forgotten what I was taught and continue to use my gift and talents to help children, people, and families recover as I did.

Website: www.shieldinghearts.org

Instagram: @shieldinghearts

Linkedin: Susana Morell, CGRS

Twitter: @Shieldheartsorg

Facebook: shieldheartorg

Youtube: Shielding Hearts

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutHTX is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.