Sonya Maria Sherrell (Kathke)
Program/Year of graduation: Bachelor of Health Science in Occupational Therapy, December 1999
What I’m doing now: I was a practicing OT specializing in hand therapy when I had my first child. Many of my UF graduate friends also started having kids and I thought the perfect baby gift for them would be a unique GATOR gift. I wanted something that was not only fun, but also educational, however I had a difficult time finding the right gift. So, I took my knowledge learned from OT along with many ideas learned from being a mom to design my own product. I created a soft cloth interactive baby/toddler book that was not only practical and small enough to fit in a diaper bag, but was also fun and educational. Moreover, I designed it so it could be personalized with special pages that allow for personal photo insertion.
With the help of my husband, we formed our company, Baby Team Players, Inc., with our slogan being “fun books for young fans.” We are proud to offer fun and educational collegiate licensed products, and have even expanded our product line. We have recently released “GO GATORS Coloring and Activity Book,” which is based on our first GO GATORS cloth book and includes our adorable Albert and Alberta characters from the cloth book.
Best lesson learned at UF: “I said it’s great to be a FLORIDA GATOR!” Also, hard work does truly pay off. I knew that the occupational therapy program was highly competitive, and being that I was an out of state student, I knew the odds were against me to get accepted into the program. In fact, my advisor at the time even advised me to pursue a different major. However, with advice given from my dad, I stuck with it and beat the odds and even graduated from the OT program with honors! Never give up on your goals in life.
People would be surprised to know: With the help of my dear husband, I am currently president of my own company, Baby Team Players, Inc.
Family: Happily married to my husband David and blessed with two beautiful girls, Hailey, 3 ½, and Jacqueline, 8 months.
In the future I hope to: Spend as much time as possible enjoying my kids growing up and expanding our product line to add more universities and fun baby/child products