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Just Sayin’

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Dream it. Believe it. Do it.

I was a child of divorce. I moved around a lot, attended different schools and grew up in a family with very little money. My parents worried about paying the light bill and putting food on the table. As the oldest of four children, I worried too. I never had what other kids my age had. I was on the free lunch program at school and remember buying my prom dress from a discount warehouse. When I was old enough to work as a teenager, I was able to buy my own clothes and had some spending money in my pocket.

These early experiences gave me the drive and determination to want a college education. I was the first in my family to think about going to college, but I knew this was my way “up and out.” I worked two jobs as a full-time college student and graduated with a BA in 1984.

These early experiences shaped my independence and desire to want a different life.
About five years ago I launched I am I can so that other teenage girls could have a different life. They too are children of divorce, or have lost a parent and are struggling financially. Many of their families are living at poverty level. They worry, they go without, they feel invisible, and all of this leads to lack of self-esteem and confidence.

As a successful business owner I wanted to give back. I wanted to share my story so they did not feel alone. That where they are today does not define tomorrow. They have a lot of life to live and dreams to fulfill. That whatever they want is possible. My own life is a true testament of what is possible if you dream it, believe it, do it.

My heart literally aches when I meet our students and hear what they face. They do have dreams and a voice. My passion for making a difference in their lives led to I am I can and connecting teenage girls with positive, female role models. These partnerships build self-esteem, confidence and provide the support and guidance students need to graduate high school and go on to achieve a college education. I have mentored two students, both of whom I spent a great deal of time getting to know and care about very much. They are both attending college and their transformation has been truly amazing.

Sam lacked self-esteem and confidence and was socially awkward. She is the oldest of five children and the first in her family to go to college. She is beautiful, smart and now attends Siena College, entering her sophomore year. Sam was our featured speaker at our gala last year and shared her journey in front of 110 guests. To see her up on the stage, beautiful, confident and speaking from her heart brought tears to my eyes. I was like a proud parent who saw her daughter capture the hearts of every person there. It’s a story like Sam’s that makes all of the hard work worth it.

Briana was my very first student and she wanted to go to college but had no idea of the steps necessary to reach her goal. She didn’t know what she wanted to study but she knew she wanted to work with kids. After arranging some time to shadow a guidance counselor at our local high school, Briana was sure that was her path. She enrolled in college and is on her way to becoming a guidance counselor. I still see Briana and Sam from time to time and they continue to bless my life. I am I can changed their lives but they have changed mine.

I’m proud to share that all six of our high school graduates are attending college on a full-time basis. We are positively impacting lives and helping teenage girls climb to the top!


Avon Scherff is the president of Scherff Insurance Agency, a locally established, designated NYS Certified Woman-Owned Business Enterprise, providing a wide variety of insurance programs and services to businesses across multiple industries. Her consultative style instills trust and confidence from clients.

A popular business leader and visionary in the for-profit and not-for-profit arenas, Avon is also the founder of Momentum, a firm specializing in business/professional development, and I am I can, a not-for-profit mentoring organization dedicated to encouraging and empowering young women.

Momentum partners with aspiring and current business owners, and with individuals making a career transition or working to overcome professional challenges. She inspires and encourages clients to look forward, spark possibilities and shape a vision with a clear action plan for achieving their goals.

Avon is a current member of the Women’s President Organization and several local Chambers of Commerce, where she has served in multiple board capacities. She has been interviewed and featured in the Capital District Business Review, the Glens Falls Post Star and HERLIFEMagazine, and was honored with the Harriet Rifkin Leadership Award by the Women’s Employment and Resource Center (WERC). Avon holds a BA in political science and sociology with a minor in English from Manhattanville College.

If you’d like to join Avon for a cup of coffee, connect with her at or