Born in New Jersey, Sharnee experienced, first hand, the crippling effects of poverty, but developed a fierce determination to transcend the perceived limitations of those born into hardship. Despite the harsh realities that were surrounding her, her mother nurtured within her daughter a love of the arts by teaching her how to sing and encouraging her to participate in plays and skits in which she was involved. Also deeply inspired by the social programs of the 70’s and deeply impacted by those supportive adults – parents, grandparents, and teachers – around her, she learned to value community and was motivated to share the goodwill and the exposure she hadreceived with the children she encountered. Watching her mother sing and attending different plays cultivated in her a love of singing, dancing and acting. When she became 18 and her mother noticed the potential of her voice, her mother formed the group Living Proof which consisted of Sharnee and her sister Felicia.
Sharnee is also known for excelling in her favorite place during her childhood: school. It’s no surprise that she majored in English and secondary education which led her to her long time teaching career. Her advocacy for excellence and education drove her to achieve a Bachelors of Science in education and a Masters in Educational Administration.
Sharnee’s most prized accomplishments came from her involvement in various ministries. She served as a volunteer for Young Life, a Christian organization founded by Jim Rayburn in Texas in 1941. The aim of Young Life is to attract teenagers – who do not normally go to church – to Christ through “relational” ministry. It is through this evangelistic outreach ministry that Sharnee dedicated herself to the cause of assisting teenagers spiritually and academically transition from adolescence to adulthood. Simultaneously, she served as Youth Coordinator. She founded and briefly co-lead a female youth group entitled The Ksenia Project. Her love for the arts was put to good use when she developed a liturgical dance team for youth at her church and began singing on the praise and worship team. The Lord declares in the scriptures: “For I know the plans I have for you.” Truly God has plans for her. She says, “I always used to ask myself, what I was going to do with my love of the arts. I believed that the songs I wrote would lie undiscovered. But that is not the mind of God.” He says, “All things work together for the good of those who love Him.” After pursuing her fulfilling career as a teacher, Sharnee never dreamed that God had more in store. Her love for singing and songwriting which was honed by her family’s constant affair with the arts and volunteering to sing on the Praise and Worship team at her church God intended to use to prepare her for her partnership with Merle Art Records. Sharnee’s biggest challenge would come on April 18, 2007, when she was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma. Her battle with breast cancer allowed her to experience firsthand the healing virtue of God, his awesome encompassing love and his indivisible power. Her life achievements could be best summed up by how Booker T Washington defined success: “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.” After her bout with cancer, she decided to pursue the arts and follow her dreams.