ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Eyewitness News’ series on “Remarkable Women” continued Wednesday with a profile of a community leader who lifts up women and minorities.
Dr. Sheila Hill is one of the founders of “Think Big!,” a non-profit whose goal is to give a boost to area entrepreneurs.
Not only is she the driving force behind the organization, she is also a church pastor that practices what she preaches. She uses her boundless energy to give a boost to women and minorities.
Her innovative programs help ordinary people become extraordinary success stories.
Hill just cannot stop improving the lives of anyone in her orbit, as executive pastor of The Rock Church and co-founder of “Think Big!,” an enormously impactful non-profit with a laser focus on the underserved in her community.
“The reason why that program is so important to me is because, what we are doing is helping minority and women-owned businesses or individuals remove barriers that they may be faced with,” Hill said.
To that end, she started the School of Business. Graduates have gone on to make their mark, like “Crossover Motorsports” on Auburn Street and “TNT Funnel Cakes” in Downtown Rockford, both started by women entrepreneurs.
It is a segment that Hill said is too often ignored.
“We’ve just been overlooked, and we have so many barriers and challenges that men don’t know of, like some of the challenges, which is children,” Hill said. “Just getting our children to childcare.”
Hill’s work is paying dividends. There were 45 graduates in 2022, with 86 business owners. They have already nearly matched that number in just two-and-a-half months of this year.
And, as if Hill does not keep busy enough, she began a “Women and Wealth” program to help with the nuts and bolts of money management.
“How to track our expenses, how to build our credit, how to pull our credit report, how to build an emergency fund,” Hill said.
“Think Big!” will be getting bigger itself, with plans to move into the former Jerome Interiors building on N. Main Street. What most see as a remarkable dedication to her community, Hill just sees it as the fulfillment of a higher purpose.
“I’m just an everyday woman just doing what God has called me to do,” Hill said. “I love what I’m doing. I tell people all the time I just feel right now. I’m living my best life.”
Hill’s goal is to help those School of Business graduates create generational wealth, not just temporary success. The next classes will be offered in the fall of this year, with “Think Big!” moving into their new homes on N. Main in the first quarter of next year.