Heroes and She-roes

“How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!” ~Maya Angelou

wonder womanThat was the theme of last night’s Academy for Women of Achievement (AWA) event. Every year, the YWCA hosts this event to honor women whose leadership is a role model for women and young girls. They are overachieving super women who break glass ceilings, nurture strong families, and still make time to better the community. I always leave the AWA feeling a little like a slacker but motivated and inspired by all of the super women in the room.

Most people think of heroes as famous or “important,” but you don’t have to be Oprah to make the world a better place. She-roes are all around us – pushing forward, guiding us, inspiring us, encouraging us, and loving us. They are the mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and daughters. They are the friends, teachers, colleagues.

All my life I have been surrounded by amazing women. Everything good in me came from my Granny. She gave me unconditional love and a great example to follow in her kindness, strength, and generosity. My sister, Tena, has always been by my side with support and encouragement. My daughter, Kirstin, motivates me to be the best possible version of myself.

Working in nonprofit has provided me with a whole new group of people to admire. Every day, I’m inspired by women like Barb Crawford of Kids Fighting AIDS and Susan Jakoblew of Progress. Barb works tirelessly to support children and families in their fight against AIDS. Susan spends her days advocating for people with disabilities. They aren’t famous like Oprah or important like world leaders, but they are very important to the people they serve.

So, inquiring minds want to know – who are your heroes and she-roes? Who are the people who inspire you and why?

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