100 Women, 100 Stories: Angela Shuckahosee

Where do you live? Cleveland, OH

Where do you work? Director of Resident Advocacy, Millennia Housing Management

How did you get this role and what was your path leading up to this? I was alerted of this position by a friend who works for Millennia. Because of my previous positions I was acquainted with Millennia and have a strong background in the demands of this position, which include dealing with low/moderate income residents, many of whom have mental/physical disabilities. My role is to advocate for all Millennia residents both individually and collectively by partnering with my colleagues in management to ensure the residents are having a good experience living in our properties.

What did you study in school? Undergrad, political communication (speech writing, messaging), Grad, Public Administration

How did you know you wanted to study that? My current role and my past roles deal/dealt with all levels of government, so an understanding of both the political process and how bureaucracy works is critical. Government touches everyone and everything, so both an academic perspective and practical experience has been integral.

Has anyone been a mentor to you? What role did they play and how do you feel about mentorship now? I have never had a designated “mentor” per se, but I have had many people in my life who I’ve considered “mentors” of sorts. These are people I can speak freely with, in a trusted setting, who have insight and with whom I can ask for guidance and accept constructive feedback. Bobbi Reichtell, Marie Kittredge, and Mansfield Frasier come to mind.

What’s the hardest thing that you’ve had to deal with in your career so far? The most difficult thing has been juggling care-giving for aging parents and the aftermath while trying to run an organization….but more insular, navigating tough HR processes that include terminating employees. That is never easy, no matter how much they might deserve it. There is no pleasure in letting someone go. It takes courage to see the bigger picture and to protect the organization and the other employees, to maintain fairness. It’s part of leadership.

What has been a really rewarding moment in your career? The most rewarding moments are usually spent alone-not receiving some big award or something. It could be a client calling or emailing or telling you in some way, you helped me. You made a difference in my life, you had a positive impact. Being told thanks for fighting for me, for advocating for this issue or bringing attention to this-it’s a wonderful feeling, it’s what keeps you going when at times the mountain seems insurmountable. I love what I do.

What do you want to accomplish in your lifetime? I want to see the world-all 7 continents, as many countries as I can, experience as many cultures as I can. My line of work doesn’t exactly allow for a lot of time off or income that would afford that, so I haven’t figured that out, yet! I want to gain financial stability at some point-generate enough savings after paying off debt do be able to do all of that someday, hopefully with family and/or friends.

What’s something you want young women to remember when thinking about their future? You can be anything you want, never let anyone tell you, you can’t do that. Sounds pretty simple, but these are things my parents told me that I realize now many young girls (and boys) are never told. I am grateful for that. And, unfortunately, it still needs to be verbalized, often.

What’s one thing you want to try to make an impact on in your lifetime? Restoring faith, hope, integrity, and fairness in this country’s political process, which in turn also means into government.