Facilitator, Yoruba Priestess
Iya Sheila 'Andito' Searles-Fairey
Sheila Y. Searles-Fairey (Iya Andito) has been an educator for all of her professional life. She was the Director and Counselor of the Higher Educational Opportunity Programs at two (2) of her local private colleges. She then went to the corporate world as a Trainer in the Management Training programs for one of the largest corporations in Rochester, teaching and training future managers. She then turned her talents to the field of Human Services serving as a counselor in out-patient Substance Abuse programs and family education programs. She later began to focus her knowledge and experience with Women. She worked director of a program for Women Substance Abusers and their children.
Iya Andito has served as an Elder for of Camp Butterfly, a summer camp for girls of African descent. She also served as a Building Substitute Teacher/Administrator in the Rochester City School District.
In retirement, she continues to serve as Adjunct Faculty at two area Colleges. She and her deceased husband Douglas, worked with several organizations to begin to build the self-identity of young men and women, facilitating them doing their 'work' as well as educating them about the historical achievements of their Ancestors. Many of these activities gave participants the understanding of how cultural memories impact their present day and Iya and Douglas would facilitate the processing of these memories.
Iya Andito is a Certified Elder in AAFANTE (African American Forming a New Tribal Existence) and the Rites of Passage Youth Empowerment Foundation. She also facilitates Women’s interpersonal development circles. Her gift to the world is her ability to nurture, be present, and support individuals as they do personal and collective healing.