Founder- Brigette A. Ways
Brigette has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Slippery Rock University. Her career in the human Services began in 1983. She began working with youth in a locked psychiatric facility located in Van Nuys California and would go on to work with at risk youth placed in group homes, hospitals and other community organizations in California, North Carolina and Pittsburgh, PA. Brigette has never identified herself as a traditional social worker as she could not be confined by the limitations of a desk. This was evident in the groups that she facilitated and the innovative ideas used to develop the self-esteem of the population that she worked with. She felt that it was imperative that she utilize her creative abilities in inspiring the youth to discover the greatness inside them.
Her own struggles as a youth having low self-esteem ignited her desire to help other young people to recognize their own worth. She would later come to understand that many insecure kids masked their insecurities by acting out and still others carried the burden of feeling out casted, increasing their chances of depression and suicidal ideations. Thus her quest began. Brigette formed SHADZ in 1996. SHADZ was created in a desperate need to be proactive in keeping her teen daughter from becoming involved in negative behaviors. As a result, she utilized her daughter’s gifting and training in dance as the tool to draw her friends in to doing something positive. She had encouraged her daughter to invite her friends to perform with her in a dance presentation. They would accept, practicing in Brigette’s basement for approximately one month before performing publicly. The girls all came from different backgrounds and circumstances and were joining together for a common cause. Three major milestones had been accomplished. First, it took away their boredom, decreasing the chances of them getting into trouble. Secondly, it gave them a sense of self- worth and increased self-esteem and finally it created a sense of community in the neighborhood. Brigette would later address the issues facing the youth at that time by producing her first stage production titled “The Trials and Tribulations of an Adolescent. Many of the participants involved were at-risk youth. This would be the first of many productions to come.
SHADZ would later become WordsbyWays as she continued to expand her passion for promoting positive change. Brigette would write her first book “Disguised Arrogance; Revealed Demise”, become a motivational speaker and present several motivational workshops. Her compassion for others serves as the conduit for aiding in promoting and inspiring hope to the hopeless