Habeebah Rasheed Grimes ’95


“It is a tremendous honor to be inducted into the Cleveland Heights High School Hall of Fame. I am reminded in this moment of the contrasting uncertainty and confidence I felt as I moved through high school and toward my future. Adolescence is a tumultuous period of development for young people, and it was no different for me, but I trusted that if I got my education, no one could take it from me, as my mother often said. So I pursued and achieved academic excellence under the guidance of Cleveland Heights High’s educators. To this day, I am grateful to my mother for her wisdom, the friends who walked alongside me, and the teachers who nurtured my love of learning during those years. I hope that current and future Heights High students will hear my story and see themselves in it, and know that they, too, will find their own path and purpose as students and future leaders.”

“There is nothing new under the sun, but there are new suns.” ~ Octavia E. Butler

Habeebah is an experienced non-profit leader with a demonstrated history of advocating for mental health care among Cleveland’s public-school students. In fact, she has made serving Northeast Ohio’s most vulnerable children her life’s work, beginning her a career as a psychologist for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. Today, as CEO of Positive Education Program (PEP), Habeebah leads a staff of 450 professionals committed to supporting healing in children who have experienced significant adversity and mental health challenges. Recognizing the harm that trauma and chronic stress cause in the lives of the young people PEP serves, she worked closely with The Neurosequential Network to certify the agency as a Phase two Neurosequential Model of Therapuetics site. With certification, PEP can focus on providing leadership in support of culturally affirming and healing-centered practices at its site and in the broader community as well.

A sought-after public speaker, board member of numerous city, county, and state mental health agencies, and creator of the No Crystal Stair Project (a podcast series exploring the intersection of Black motherhood and shaping change), Habeebah has been honored with several high-profile community awards. They include Crain’s Cleveland Business’ 40 Under 40, Cleveland State University’s Distinguished Alumni Award and this summer, Crain’s Cleveland Woman of NoteAward.


MA, Clinical/Counseling and Specialist in School Psychology, Cleveland State University

Current Occupation

Chief Executive Officer, Positive Education Program (PEP)

Cleveland State University Distinguished, Alumni Awardee (2019)

Member of Leadership Cleveland Class of 2020 

Cuyahoga County Advisory Council on, Equity Appointee (2020)

  • Phase Two Certification in the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (2021) 
  • Founder of No Crystal Stair Podcast (2021) 
  • Crain’s Cleveland Woman of Note Awardee (2022)