Change Your Mind. Align With Your Purpose. Feel Groovy!
About Steph Palermo
Hire Steph, firstname.lastname@example.org. She is available for:
- Keynote Speaking
- Present one of her signature talks at your event
- Lead a Breakout Session at your conference
- Present The Ruby Slippers Workshop for your group
- Lunch & Learns for your organization
- Personal Consultations
Steph Palermo was born into an American-Sicilian family just outside Boston, Massachusetts. There were no ultrasounds in 1966. Along with the dysfunctions of her family, Steph entered this world with a rare disorder, Poland Syndrome. Fingers were missing from her right hand which was part of a much shorter arm. Another PS trait is the absence of the affected side’s pectoral muscle.
All around, life was going to be a bit more difﬁcult for Steph Palermo. Her home was equally ﬁlled with laughter and tears. Steph witnessed abuse, a gambling addiction and violence. The dinner table was a sanctuary. All the family events revolved around eating meals most Americans experienced only in restaurants. At a very young age, Steph began to use food to ﬁnd the “happy place.”
Meanwhile, outside the home, Steph faced the world. She was unable to play instruments, most sports and was slower at completing ordinary tasks. She was ostracized, mocked and left out. Steph had numerous surgeries to help her gain better use of her right hand. When the physical pain of bone and skin grafts wore off, the emotional effects lingered. She sometimes felt like a side show freak.
Steph, a naturally extroverted people lover, began to hide. She used food to ﬁnd comfort. By second grade, Steph packed on the pounds. She hid her hand, and now she had a weight problem. This continued through adolescence, and her self-esteem was rock bottom. Fast forward through a rough marriage and birthing four boys, Steph decided to take charge of her body. She hired a nutritionist and started boxing. She dropped one hundred pounds from the birth of her last son. This was the easy part. Steph had to battle her lack of self-conﬁdence and embarrassment of her limb difference, always believing she was ugly and not worthy to be loved.
Boxing and years of therapy helped Steph gain the conﬁdence she needed to start loving herself. It wasn’t until Steph started speaking about living with a limb difference that she realized she wasn’t alone in the journey against her false self. She ﬁnally started to laugh at herself, not take herself so seriously. This was the dawn of true joy for Steph.
Today, Steph continues to box, cook, socialize and ask for help when a task is daunting. If anyone understands the rocky road to peace, Steph does. She no longer hides behind food, although she still loves the party. Steph loves unconditionally knowing that the people who walked with her through her struggles are her cheerleaders. Steph continues the daily journey striving to love wholeheartedly and attain balance and peace.
"Steph is truly a force of nature, a special soul who genuinely cares about the people she works with and the universe in general. Her passion is contagious. As someone who has read many, many self help books and lectures, Steph keeps it real. One of the best messages I learned from her is understanding that self-care is not selfish. She is a shining example that believing in yourself is the greatest gift you can give to the world.”
Sandra K. Benson
Global Business Development Director, Construction
Public Relations Manager & Video Production Assistant
Director of Written and Digital Communications
Branum anticipates graduating in May 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in English from Kennesaw State University. While completing her last few classes, Branum will utilize her love for creative writing and experience in film to produce Just Steph’s weekly newsletter, social media content as well as continuing to connect with Palermo’s clients and workshop attendees. She will collaborate on creating content for The Just Steph Show. In addition, Branum will also consult on expanding the Just Steph audience. She is eager to making The Just Steph brand known nationwide.