Karen Watson, MSW grew up in Fort Myers, FL and has two adult daughters and four 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 modeling best practices, providing resources, advocating for moms and children 0-3 years and teaching moms to be their child’s first best teacher.
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 OMH by a former professor who saw the concern and commitment she has for children, women and my community.
Karen served one year as Vice President of OMH and a year and a half as President. June 2011 became the Executive Director or Our Mother’s Home. She has been recognized for her commitment to the community and serves on a number of boards. 2016 founded Impact Dunbar, an initiative to impact women and children in the Dunbar Community through the Southwest Florida Community Foundation. Karen Watson has been featured in several magazines such as E’Bella, Pennicle of FGCU, Parent and Child and Grandeur.