Susan has worked as a social worker, and school counselor at the elementary, middle and high school levels. She has also worked as a counselor for incarcerated youth and started a non-profit, faith-based organization (Youth Hope Foundation) to help these young people. In 2005, the GED Testing Service awarded Susan with its highest honor, the Cornelius P. Turner Award, presented annually to a GED graduate who has made outstanding contributions to society in education or public, or social service. The award is named for Cornelius P. Turner, the founder of the GED Testing Program.
Susan has written 20 books and has led professional seminars throughout the U.S. and abroad on topics such as mentoring, challenging adolescents and self-injury. Susan’s remarkable life-story has been an encouragement to young people and professionals. She ran away from home at age 14. By age 19, she was divorced, on welfare and the mother of three children. Yet, with only a 7th grade education, a mentor encouraged her to pursue her education and she eventually earned a GED, then a BA degree, and finally an Ed.S. degree in counseling. Her experience as a runaway and teen mom has helped her to reach some of the most distraught youth in juvenile detention facilities.