Meet the Founder and PresidentSherrie Gearheart Ms. Illinois America 2018 Sherrie founded Live Out Loud Charity (LOLC) in 2010 after losing her childhood friend to suicide. He was only nineteen years old at the time of his death. Sherrie used the tragedy of losing her friend as motivation to help others who suffer from suicidal thoughts and depression. As such she holds over ten suicide prevention certificates from: QPR Institute, Trevor Project, ASIST, Tufts School of Medicine, Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide, The Jason Foundation, Diploma in Mental Health Studies from AMEDD, Mental Health & Illness Training from Open University, Truth Media Certified Mentor, certified in Mental Health Studies - Suicide, Violent Behavior, and Substance Abuse and certified in Mental Health First Aid. In fall of 2017, Sherrie was selected to represent the state of Illinois in the Ms. America Pageant to be held in March 2018. Gearheart orchestrated the sold-out 8th Annual International Fashion Show at Palmer House in downtown Chicago with said title and as founder/president of LOLC. Over 450 individuals attended this event. Prior to receiving this title Gearheart was featured on NBC5 Chicago News segment, Making a Difference, where Patrick Fazio interviewed Ms. Gearheart showcasing the LOLC school presentations and awareness events. During the summer of 2017 Gearheart travelled to Ireland for a 3rd time and to Liberia for a 2nd time to complete her international humanitarian tours dealing with the prevention of suicide, anti bullying, and core character development. In 2015, Sherrie was selected to represent the United States and vie for the coveted international title of Miss United Nations. In July of that year she represented the USA and won the United Nations Pageant! Sherrie has gained international acclaim as Founder & President of Live Out Loud Charity, Miss UN 2015, a professional runway & print model, a public speaker & singer, a pageantry and model coach, previous contributor to Ascene Chicago Magazine, and editor of Tiara Magazine.
During the first six months of her reign, Sherrie worked tirelessly fulfilling her duty as Miss UN by visiting five countries. The purpose behind every trip was to save lives by focusing on the core values of LOLC - suicide prevention, anti-bullying, and core character development.Year of Service as Miss United Nations 2015 Over the course of Sherrie’s year of service, she logged approximately 200,000 miles traveling across the country and internationally to address an array of audiences on Live Out Loud Charity's platform: suicide prevention, anti bullying, and core character development. As Miss UN 2015, Gearheart met with countless governmental bodies including:
- Prime Minister of Jamaica
- Foreign Ministry of Information addressing the nation LIVE in Liberia
- United Nations Women’s Organization of Liberia
- She also interviewed on multiple media outlets, and completed three humanitarian tours
In addition, she dedicated her Miss UN 2015 reign to the country of Liberia where she has long term plans to raise funds to build the first ever mental health institution. As part of her awareness-raising efforts on behalf of suicide prevention, Sherrie also launched a social media campaign, Live Out Loud, to break the silence and stigma surrounding mental health, suicidal thoughts, and depression. Through her social media channels, Sherrie asks people to share their testimonies of overcoming depression and suicide so we as a nation can advance in mental health and restore the balance of happiness.
Spokesperson for Bill Rogers Youth Foundation During her year of service, Sherrie also served as the official spokesperson for the Bill Roger's Youth Foundation (BRYF) focused on helping children in Liberia. The country, which was struck by the Ebola Crisis and a civil war that lasted fourteen years, currently does not have a proper mental health infrastructure. Therefore, BRYF & LOLC have partnered together to raise funds to build the first ever mental health institution and sports recreation center for youth in Liberia. In December of 2015, Gearheart visited Liberia, West Africa as the first ever mental health advocate to address the nation on its mental health needs. BRYF’s team on the ground assisted with her efforts.
Sherrie continues to advocate for her platforms by traveling across the USA and throughout the world working with various organizations, governmental bodies, schools & universities, and charities that align closely with her platform and values. Learn more about Sherrie Gearheart.