Characters Unite

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Characters Unite Award Winners

CARRIE SEVERSON

COX
SCOTTSDALE, AZ
CEO, FOUNDER AND LEADER OF SEVERSON SISTERS

As a young girl, Carrie Severson knew she was meant to make a difference in the world. Yet, these very feelings of wanting to shine and lead were buried deep inside her for a long while. Being heavier than other girls her age, she was made fun of, left out, and bullied throughout her entire childhood. Instead of enjoying these years, she felt ashamed of her body, depressed and continually worried that she would be embarrassed in front of her peers. The torment she experienced from bullying and low self-esteem led her to overdose at age 16. But despite these troubles and her lack of self-esteem, she loved to dance and thrived on stage. This creative outlet gave her the freedom to be herself.

In January of 2011, at the age of 32, with only her savings and 401K dollars in hand, Carrie left the corporate world, and launched Severson Sisters to help address the significant impact of bullying, specifically, among girls. Carrie strived to create a program that bridges self-compassion and social behavior through creativity, given its critical role in youth development. In 2012, Carrie was honored for her work with Severson Sisters through Sally Hansen's "Best of You" recognition in New York City and was featured in the September issue of Glamour magazine. She is currently enrolled as the first nonprofit into Class 15 of the prestigious two-year AAAME program, sponsored by APS for small, minority- and women-owned enterprises throughout the Phoenix area. In January 2013, she was honored as the Young Non-Profit Professional of the Year for Phoenix by the Young Non-Profit Professional Network – Phoenix Chapter. Most recently, she was included in the Top 50 Power Women issue of New MADE Revolution magazine.

Carrie believes her life purpose is to be a light for girls so they do not endure the same darkness she endured as a teen. Her motto is, "Be the change you want to see in the world." And she wakes up every day with that intention in mind.

Carrie Severson