The Heroines

Sherri R. Leeks

is honored with a Brick from Mary E. Johnson.

I would like my daughter Sherri Rochelle Leeks to have a place in the Plaza of Heroines as a tribute to her determination and fortitude.

From a tiny tot, Sherri always wanted to be a nurse. When she was five years old, she was hospitalized with a very serious illness for most of a year. This experience only strengthened her resolve to be a nurse. After graduation from high school, Sherri entered college and worked as a phlebotomist at local hospitals. She took a sabbatical from college for a time to have a son. Upon returning to the University she renewed her convictions to complete her education and became a nurse.

While working (still in the hospital setting), raising a son, and attending the University, Sherri married and obtained her BSN degree in 1983. After graduation, she worked in the neo-natal unit at Wesley Medical Center where she became fascinated with the care of premature infants. She and her husband had two more children during this time.

With advice from her supervisor and the loving support of her family, she took on a special six-month leave to attend a program on neo-natal nursing in North Dakota, which was to have allowed her to work as a nurse practitioner in the neo-natal setting. However, after returning she was advised that a master's degree was crucial to professional recognition and licensing. Sherri, once again, enrolled in school while she continued to work and raise her family. In 1997, Sherri obtained her Master's Degree, passed the National Board and is now a MSN, ARNP. Her father, Dr. John W. Johnson, Jr., was truly a source of inspiration and encouragement for her.

Sherri is a very loving and caring person. She loves the Lord and gives service to her church. She is an adoring wife and parent and extremely grateful for all of her blessings. In my estimation she is a very special person and I am proud to be her mother.

Submitted by Mary Johnson

September 5, 1998