Making It To The Finish Line was organized in June 2001 by Gladys Pearson, Founder/CEO. Gladys vision began after the revelation of a secret that she carried for 32 years. The nature of this secret left her feeling shame and as a result, her self-esteem suffered. Gladys told no one about the secret.
As secrets have a way of doing, after 32 years, it revealed itself. When Gladys was 13 years old, she gave birth to a daughter. At the time, Gladys was sent to live with caring relatives in another state. Her siblings were not told why Gladys was no longer at home. Her family was religious and close-knit. Her parents arranged for her baby to be raised by a religious couple.
In the years following the birth of the child, Gladys returned to school and resumed her life. She continued to go to church; graduated from high school, and married. She gave birth to a son and another daughter as well as went on to receive first her Associate, Bachelor and then a double Master's degree. In May 1992, after 32 years, Gladys' daughter found her. Gladys' siblings and her two children also came face-to-face with her secret. Gladys' mother didn't have the chance, but Gladys' father felt blessed to have had the chance to meet his granddaughter before he died.
Gladys was concerned with how her children, siblings, colleagues, friends and associates would react. She decided to use it as an opportunity-now that the secret had been revealed, she knew a burden had been lifted. Gladys wanted to share her story with other women; she understood she could not be the only person to have endured such an experience and decided to use her experiences to help other women "make it to the finish line!"