Higher Learning CEO/Founder, Shennette Sheffield Sparkes, was born and raised in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Sparkes grew up as a multitalented athlete, attending St. Thomas Aquinas High School. In high school she ran track and played volleyball, with her skills and passion for basketball setting her apart. Named an honorable mention All-District selection for her final three years of high school, as well as MVP for her team during her final season. She was also nominated McDonalds All-American in 2006. Sparkes went on to play for the Lady Ospreys basketball team at the University of North Florida, with high Academic recognition in the Atlantic Sun Conference for several seasons. While playing basketball in college Shennette Sparkes was diagnosed with two types of Lupus. Lupus is a chronic illness that over 1.5 million are suffering with. Never letting the disease stop her from accomplishing her goals, she completed her four years at UNF and went on to play semi-professional basketball for the Orlando Extreme.
Through the years, Shennette’s love for basketball has propel her to coaching. Coach Sheff has coached several successful basketball teams. Her most recent job she was the Head Coach at San Jose Catholic Grade School, Head Coach for North Florida Lady Predators Elite AAU and the Assistant Basketball Coach for Mandarin High School. She’s previously been the Head Coach for the North Florida Spartans AAU, Assistant Basketball Coach at Ridgeview High School, as well as the Student Coach for the University of North Florida. Coach Sheff has also worked as the Director of Basketball Operations for the 2012, 2013 Back to Back ABA Champions the Jacksonville Giants three years. Coaching has given Shennette the opportunity to share her talents with the world. She loves the ability to help young athletes accomplish their goals in life.