Chamber of Commerce Woman of Year April Sorrow (center) is shown with Dana Richier (left) and Alan Kennedy (right).

Basketball coaches, Girl Scout leaders, teachers, co-workers… These are all the support system that April Reece Sorrow says led to her successes in life. Sorrow, who is the Woman of the Year for the Jackson County Area Chamber of Commerce was the guest speaker at the January Women in Business luncheon.

“Today, I would like to talk about the people who have had a huge influence on me in helping me,” she said. “You are what you learn. Lucky for me, I was raised in Jackson County. There were some difficult things I encountered as a child. My story is one of great support and great triumph.”

One of the mentors she spoke about was Dana Richier, her audio visual teacher at Jackson County Comprehensive High School.

“I have been very blessed to have great educators in my life,” she said. “I had no idea I wanted to be in communication when I was in high school. Mr. Richier had this class called video journalism and it was fun. I signed up for it. He invested in me all of those years in high school and beyond. He kept reaching out to me in college and beyond.”

She also talked about how important sports was in her life and pointed out that coaches such as Alan Kennedy, her track coach at JCCHS, made an impact on her life.

“My story is about meeting really great people who have enriched my life,” she said.

Sorrow also spoke on her family and friends who have been part of her team and who have supported her, including her husband, Bucky, and children, Annika and Reese, and childhood friends, Amy Stepanek and Sabrina Knight.

Sorrow shared how she has gone on to serve the community as a Girl Scout leader and she and her husband have coached eight teams, including soccer, a sport they had to learn about before coaching.

"Thank you all for the investment you are making as mentors to children and other adults," she said. "You are making a difference to someone. Thank you all for what you are doing."

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