University of Missouri
$1,500 Scholarship and Hearst Medallion
STORY - Shawn Brokemond, a retired Bay Area kindergarten teacher wears many hats. Following her retirement she started a parent coaching business, personal trains a number of clients, trains for triathlons herself and makes sure to take her granddaughter Nikiah on many adventures. Brokemond grew up in Gary, Indiana, where at 17 she gave birth to her son Josh. "I went to a catholic school and we hid a lot from out parents." Brokemond had the support of her mom and dad in raising Josh, but also in that they wanted her to finish high school and go to college. She attended college at Purdue University for three years, making the 5 hour bus trip home almost every weekend to see her son Josh, who was cared for by her parents. "I don't think they wanted my life to be altered by having a child, so they offered to take care of him," said Brokemond. "But it was really hard to be separated from him." Before her senior year at Purdue, Brokemond changed her major, transferred to DePaul and moved her and her son to the city of Chicago. Immediately after graduating, Brokemond moved to San Francisco with Dan Hennage, her then boyfriend, and current husband. Dan was a childhood friend that had moved away from Gary, Indiana when his parents had divorced, but the two had stayed in touch. Hennage visited Brokemond on weekends in college to watch Josh and give Brokemond time to herself or time to hangout with friends. "He is just a really great guy," said Brokemond of Hennage. The two have lived in the Bay Area for over 25 years and make an effort to take their granddaughter Nikiah Brokemond on fun adventures whenever she is at their house. Nikiah loves to code and Brokemond and Hennage volunteer with Black Girls Code, a group that Nikiah is involved in. Brokemond personal trains a group of young women who are on probation and also keeps a garbage bag to pick up trash people have thrown on the side of the road. "A few years ago Dan and I noticed an increase in garbage in our favorite places to run and hike, so we decided we could do something about it by picking it up ourselves instead of just complaining," said Brokemond.
CAPTION: Shawn Brokemond ascends the hill leading to her house in Mill Valley on Monday, June 5, 2018, during a hill repeat workout. Brokemond, 50, trains for triathlons and rotates through daily workouts in each of the disciplines: swimming, biking and running.
During an early morning cycling class, instructor Gardie Jackson (foreground) barks orders at class participants (from left) Shawn Brokemond, Jason Hann and Natalie Jackson on Monday, June 4, 2018, at Five Points Fitness in Corte Madera. "She is one of the best role models around," Gardie Jackson said. "You are bound to see some magic, following her around."
Shawn Brokemond wipes sweat from her face during the high intensity 90-minute cycling class Monday, June 4, 2018, at Five Points Fitness in Corte Madera. In addition to training for triathlons, Brokemond also mountain climbs with her husband Dan Hennage. This week the two are taking a trip to summit Mount Shasta and snowboard their way down.
A faint reflection of Shawn Brokemond (right) glistens off of a plexiglass viewing window at the Strawberry Recreation District Pool on Sunday, June 3, 2018. Brokemond met a friend at the pool to give her some pointers to improve her swim stroke.
Shawn Brokemond takes a deep breath before getting into the pool Sunday, June 3, 2018, at the Strawberry Recreation District. Brokemond swam 5,000 meters during a workout in the morning, but offered to give a friend some pointers in the afternoon.
Shawn Brokemond demonstrates to Aoife McArdle (foreground) how to pull your arm through the water while completing the freestyle stroke Sunday, June 3, 2018, at the Strawberry Recreation District.
Shawn Brokemond helps her 85 year-old neighbor Ginette Davis stretch during a training session on Monday, June 4, 2018, at Brokemond's home gym in Mill Valley.
During a car ride back from school Shawn Brokemond's granddaughter Nikiah Brokemond, 12, complains that she wants to skip the "adventure" Shawn and Dan planned for the evening Monday, June 4, 2018. "We like to plan adventures for Nikiah when she's with us so she experiences more of the world," said Shawn Brokemond.
Shawn Brokemond (right) watches as her granddaughter Nikiah Brokemond, 12, films the bone of a whale that had washed up on the shore a few weeks prior Monday, June 4, 2018, at Tennessee Beach. "I think it looks like a squished pumpkin," narrated Nikiah, as she filmed. "Comment what you think it looks like below."
Shawn Brokemond and her granddaughter Nikiah giggle as Nikiah shares stories about her day at school Monday, June 4, 2018, at the Brokemond home in Mill Valley.
Shawn Brokemond combs Nikiah's hair and ties it back in a loose bun Monday, June 4, 2018, before putting Nikiah to bed at their home in Mill Valley.
Nikiah kisses Shawn's forehead after being tucked in for the night Monday, June 4, 2018, at their home in Mill Valley.
SINGLE - Douglas Davis, a veteran employee at Britex Fabrics helps a client find fabric for making a bed spread Tuesday, June 5, 2018.. Twenty-seven years ago Davis entered the fabric store to buy fabric for a pair of pants he was going to sew. The store had a hiring sign in the window, he applied, interviewed and got the job that day. "The meaning of life is to create," said Davis. "That's the first thing God did after all." When Davis was 15 years old his grandma taught him how to sew. "She saw something in me, and pulled it out through sewing," mused Davis. The process of helping clients flesh out the vision in their head, to find the right color and texture to make a garment is what has driven Davis to get up every morning and come to work. He still has the pants he made from the fabric he bought at his first trip to Britex Fabrics, and they still fit.