Innovatively Empowering: Dr. Lisa Morris Hibbler

by John Dunia

What better way to empower others than to start with the youth of our community and that is exactly the intent of Dr. Lisa Morris Hibbler. It has been nearly two years since the city of Las Vegas formed a Youth Development and Social Innovation Department and confirmed her position as the director. But Lisa is no stranger to working with our youth; she began in 1995 with an internship with the city of North Las Vegas and over the years has worked with thousands of young people.

Working with children has always been a dream for her. When she began college, her goal was to become a neo-natal doctor. But in 1994, she moved to Las Vegas, enrolled in the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and changed her major to public administration. She discovered while interning at North Las Vegas that her major still could be used to fulfill her dream and continue working with the youth in her new community.

In 1997, she began working full-time with the city of Las Vegas and in 2005, received her Doctorate of Public Administration from the University of La Verne in California.

“So many kids are born into difficult circumstances but that doesn’t need to define who they become.” She has seen so many turn from unimaginable circumstances to positive and contributing members of society. Even on her time off, she is involved with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. which also focuses on changing the lives of our youth.

Although her focus is on empowering youth, hardly a day goes by that it doesn’t empower her as well. “Many young children face incredible adversity and when I hear what they have overcome and accomplished, there is nothing that makes me more proud.”

Las Vegas can certainly be proud of its strong commitment to empowering our youth and Dr. Lisa Morris Hibbler is certainly one which we can show our deepest gratitude. On Nov. 16 at the Historic Fifth Street School, there is a documentary screening and panel discussion of “Bad Kids” which follows students struggling to graduate with the deck stacked against them. For anyone looking to become involved, this will be a great event.

Since 2007, John Dunia has written for many local Las Vegas publications. In 2013, he began blogging and sharing his thoughts on overcoming adversities with his unique approach in assisting the reader towards better self-awareness. In 2015 he completed his first self-help-style book, “Shame On Me – Healing a Life of Shame-Based Thinking” which was a semi-autobiographical account of how he overcame and heal difficulties from his past. It inspired him to branch out in other directions. He now consults with people one-on-one to help them find their own breakthroughs. He also is a guest speaker on the topic of shame and effective ways to heal. To find out more, visit www.gcegroup.net.

 

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