Karen Watson, MSW grew up in Fort Myers, FL and has two adult daughters and three grandchildren. She is 2008 alumni of Florida Gulf Coast University, where she acquired a Master’s Degree in Social Work. She also has a Child Development Associate and Directors Credential.
Karen worked 22 years for The School District of Lee County where she taught Head Start, working with pregnant moms and infant and toddlers. For 10 years, she was devoted to teaching moms to be their child’s first best teacher by modeling best practices, providing resources and advocating for moms and children ages 0-3 years. She also found time to provide tutoring and operate a Family Home Child Care.
Fueled by frustration and optimism, she returned to higher education to earn a master’s degree in social work from Florida Gulf Coast University. Through her years of working with the School District of Lee County and regular home visits, she came to believe that poor parenting was the root cause of impoverished students’ social, developmental and nutritional obstacles.
Karen wanted to teach the parents to be the best parent they could be and give children and winning start before entering school. With graduate studies focused on mental illness in women and children, in 2007 she was inspired to join Our Mother’s Home by a former professor who saw the concern and commitment she had for children, women and her community. Karen served one year as Vice President of Our Mother’s Home’s board of directors and a year and a half as President.
June 2011, became the Executive Director or Our Mother’s Home. In her commitment to the community, she’s served as Health Chairperson for The National Association for Advancement of Colored People, volunteers for Red Cross and is a mentor for Footsteps to the Future for young single mothers. In 2015 she was awarded the Golden Baby Shoe Award for her contribution of Social Services to help give babies a Healthy Start in life and in 2016 recognized as Excellent Administrative Professional. She has been featured in several magazines such as E’Bella, Pennicle of FGCU, Parent and Child and Granduer.