From the time she was 10 years old, collecting signatures in protest of the perceived injustice surrounding the ending of her favorite television show, to achieving her doctoral degree in Clinical Forensic Psychology, persistence and advocacy have defined Dr. Shannon Edwards’ life.
Shannon was inspired by other determined individuals to serve her community, believing passions fuel passions. She was in Vaughn Bicehouse’s psychology class when planes struck the towers during 9/11, prompting her intrigue into human motivation and behavior. During the integration of psychology and criminal justice coursework at California University of Pennsylvania, she solidified her desire to specialize in forensic psychology. When Shannon moved away from southwestern Pennsylvania to downtown Chicago IL, she was forever changed. Shannon described the experience as, “growing out of ignorance and into insight; developing skills to become the competent licensed psychologist I am today.” Shannon understands the compassion and dedication one needs to empathize with individuals experiencing diversity. She believes you don’t learn human skills in books. You learn them on the South side of Chicago at an Evening Reporting Center for Juveniles. Or at the Allegheny County Jail interacting with individuals who are incompetent to stand trial. Or treating individuals who are incompetent to stand trial in a state hospital. Becoming a psychologist challenged and changed Shannon in a way that would eventually prepare her for a Congressional run. What was most important is she became a better advocate for individuals who experience adversity. Chicago led her to forensic work and ultimately back to the city she loved; for that, she is forever grateful.
Upon completion of her studies at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, she returned home to work as the director of mental health at the Allegheny County Jail; after assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the current system, Shannon decided she could affect the most change infiltrating the system from outside. She opened her private practice in December 2015 and has been assisting criminal and family courts throughout Pennsylvania since that period of time.
Shannon’s time as a forensic psychologist and social advocate taught her the importance of fighting for what you believe in, asserting herself proactively in a field dominated by men, and building relationships with multiple organizations and individuals to achieve similar goals within the intersection of law and psychology. Shannon will implement these same ideals in Congress. In our current sociopolitical climate, our politicians serve special interests and wealthy donors, not the people they were elected to represent. Shannon has chosen, “Edwards for Pgh” because she will serve the constituents of District 14. Similarly, you will not find details about more than three (3) issues on Shannon’s page; Shannon will take the next eight (8) months to learn what her constituents need, what they are satisfied with, and where their passions lie. Shannon’s personal positions matter little when adversity, heroin, mental health, education, and criminal justice reform are effecting District 14 and the nation.
Shannon can be found around Pittsburgh with her pint-sized partner in crime; often times eating different food, throwing weight around at the Rivers Club, taking in a sporting event, or walking their dog, Max.