Dr. Forrest Shearin
Retirement for some means a slowing pace of life. However, there are a select few that view it as a time to grab the reigns and continue working just as hard, only in a different direction. Fortunately, with an early retirement, Dr. Forrest G. Shearin had his passion and time in place, allowing him to gain the propensity to achieve new ambitions.
Although raised in a small town of Eastern North Carolina, Shearin’s goals spanned beyond the small town he had called home. His path led him to an undergraduate degree from Wake Forest, a Master’s Degree and a Doctorate in Counseling and Educational Psychology from the American University, all followed by a year of post-graduate study at George Washington University.
Shearin then worked for 25 years with the Montgomery County, Maryland Public Schools. As a strong presence in his workforce, there was a time where Shearin viewed volunteerism as “busy work.” However, with retirement on the horizon, Shearin’s perception changed. He was now drawn to the world of volunteerism, viewing it as a professional transition.
Spending half of his life in denial of his sexual orientation, Shearin chose to devote his time to seeking volunteer opportunities with organizations offering programs in the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender community.
Having moved to Palm County 20 years ago with his partner, Jeffrey Schwarz, Shearin was asked in 1994 by the then executive director for Compass to lead and facilitate a “coming out group.” Which he describes as, “a support group for gay men, lesbians, bisexuals and questioning individuals
Shearin found his direction when he devoted his life to volunteering for a charitable cause. With his inherent drive and his passion for the improvement of lifestyle for gays, Shearin is helping others find their direction; like a ‘Compass,’ his support group helps others navigate through the muddled waters of society to find their own voice and be heard.