Sheila Cohen began her teaching career in the area of Speech and Language Therapy. When she took a hiatus from work to raise her two children, she began volunteering to teach English to an influx of immigrants who were settling in Madison in the late 1960s. She enjoyed that work so much that she returned to the University of Wisconsin to become certified in English as a Second Language.
Cohen resumed work in the schools as an ESL teacher in the late 1970s, just as a group of Hmong families began to arrive in the aftermath of the Vietnam War. For the next 20 years, she worked closely with Hmong families as well as Hmong Bilingual Resource personnel in the schools who provided invaluable help with translations and information. She has been on the Board of Directors of the United Refugee Services of Wisconsin, and works as a freelance writer. She has two grown children and twin grandsons, and lives with her husband in Madison. Her other book in the Badger Biography series is "Gaylord Nelson: Champion for Our Earth."