Women in History

Women in History

March 2, 2021 Uncategorized 44

Happy Women’s History Month! To start celebrating the accomplishments of women, provide a profile of an influential woman. Tell us why this person means so much to you, how they have impacted or inspired you, and why other people should know about them.

This can be a woman that is in your life like your mom, aunt, sister, etc, it can be a woman from history like Katherine Johnson, or a woman in current events like Greta Thunberg.

44 Responses

  1. Abby Hoekman says:

    One of the most influential women I have ever encountered in my life was my high school field hockey coach Margaret Tieman. To me, she was a coach and mentor, but her credentials and successes throughout her life and career are far-reaching. Margaret Tieman has excelled in her roles as a player, coach, and official. To name some of these successes, as a player, she was the first 1,000 point scorer for her high school and was also a Class S all-state selection in field hockey and won the 1996 state championship. As a coach, she headed the varsity field hockey team from 2001-15 and was the varsity softball coach from 2006-10 at Lewis Mills High School, where she won Class S state field hockey titles in 2005 and in 2014 and eight Berkshire League titles. Margaret Tieman also earned the coach of the year recognition on multiple occasions, including being named the Connecticut High School Coaches’ Association Field Hockey Coach of the Year in 2014.

    In her current career as a referee official, she’s garnered NCAA tournament experience as an official at Division I, II, and III levels dating back to 2006. She refereed the Division III national championship game in 2010 and 2012 and currently works for 13 Division I conferences including the SEC, ACC, and The Big 10; and has worked the Division I NCAA tournament since 2013. One highlight of her career was officiating the pre-Olympic tour for the 2016 United States Women’s Basketball Team. Maggie earned her master’s degree in educational leadership from Central Connecticut State University and her doctorate in sport and performance psychology from the University of the Rockies. She founded her own company, Mindset Matters LLC, focusing on organizational leadership development and team performance training, and has served as the team consultant to the Buffalo State University and Roberts Wesleyan women’s basketball teams. She and her husband Mike co-founded and directs The Referee Academy, providing professional development for sports officials, and she’s the coordinator of field hockey officials for the Division I America East Conference as well as four Division III conferences. Her ultimate goal as an official is to referee a Division I women’s basketball Final Four.

    Clearly, Margaret Tieman is a powerhouse. She has impacted and inspired me in more ways than she will ever know. She believed in me as a player and as a person. She looked at her team wholistically and guided us through how to conquer our obstacles mentally before physically. She pushed me harder and helped me be the best player and person I could be. It is because of her belief in me that I was able to make the varsity field hockey team as a sophomore and the reason why that same year she led our team to win the Class S state field hockey championship in 2014. She believed in me so much that I was able to play the entirety of that state championship game. Her leadership is why our team had a perfect season with zero losses. In the end, though, none of it was about winning. It was the mental toughness and determination and trust in myself and others on my team that she taught me. It is because of her I was able to learn so many leadership and relationship skills and ultimately guided me to be nominated for team captain my senior year. All that she taught me has remained in my heart and mind as I have pursued other leadership opportunities and achieved personal and professional things in college that I never thought possible.

    • Tamara McCallum says:

      I love what you said about your coach teaching you about conquering your obstacles mentally before physically! You are lucky to have learned such an important lesson. And even though you learned it in a sports capacity, that will take you far and across many different areas in life.

  2. Ava Bibisi says:

    One of the most influential woman in my life is my sister. I know it is clique to say, but despite being younger than me, she has overcome so much in such a short period of her life. My sister, Rachel, is sixteen and grown up with autism. She was born with what is classified as “Asperger Syndrome”, and has problems connecting with others through actions, thoughts, and words. Rachel has been stereotyped into low functioning groups, bullied by other students, and experienced unfair treatment all because of the way she was born. Without even knowing it, she has taught me how to be a stronger individual intellectually but also empowered me to want to do better for others. Seeing the way she has been treated by other students growing up, it has influenced me even more so to never leave others out and allow others to have a person to lean on for support. Not only has Rachel inspired me for being the powerful woman that she is, but has also influenced me to pursue a career in nursing. I’ve had to watch my sister go to numerous doctors appointments and see specialists who haven’t always given her the same treatment as other patients. Continuing with a career in the medical field, I want to not only aid others in their health, but also be an advocate for equality in health centers.

  3. Chandler Edbauer says:

    My mother is the most influential woman in my life. My mother has helped me grow in my faith and has given me every opportunity possible. My mother has provided me with an incredible work ethic as well as a deep understanding of service to others. My mother has raised four boys as well as continuing to climb through the corporate ladder. My mother continues to inspire me through her continued work with all of her fundraisers and services. She is involved in Boy Scouts as a board member, even though all of her children are done with the program. She is also a leader in LOVE inc. which is a nonprofit organization that helps the poor in my community. My mother is also a volunteer for the American Legion and has always put herself above others. I find her choices of helping others, compassion and learning important life lessons. She has taught me to work on the weekdays and work harder on the weekends. She inspires and motivates me to grow without any barriers. It seems to me that this woman looks at life as a challenge and wholeheartedly intends to seize the day every day. My mother looked after me and supported me in every part of my life. Right from childhood she has been with me like my shadow. It had been riddled with hurdles and difficulties, but she has managed to cross them all to because of the amazing and independent person she is.

  4. Abeer Jafri says:

    An influential woman in my life was my grandmother, who sadly passed away two months ago. I never realized how much of an impact she had on me, and I took for granted all the lessons she had to share. She lost her husband almost thirty years ago, yet still managed to bring up nine children on her own as a single mother, each of them now not only successful, but genuinely good and happy people. I think the greatest thing about her was the fact that she was never caught up in surface-level or materialistic notions. She encouraged us to genuinely enjoy life, and she radiated so much positivity that she would attract the whole family to gather around her at events. If small mishaps occurred, she would brush them away, because she believed that life too short to worry about them. Her love knew no bounds; she would call friends of friends on their birthdays, and even always made sure to check in on pets in our families. Although she is no longer around, I hope to continue to practice her limitless kindness by being altruistic to those close and not so close to me, and always finding joy in the little things.

    • Dana Wakeman says:

      Abeer, I am so sorry for your loss. And, thank you for sharing your grandmother with us.

  5. Samantha Gisleson says:

    Dr. Jessica Salmon entered my life as my academic advisor during my freshman year at Siena. After changing my major, she was no longer my advisor, but she recently re-entered my life as my capstone mentor, and I am so happy that she did. In the short 6 or so months that we have worked together, she has made a huge impact on my life.

    Dr. Salmon is a professor in the management department at Siena, but she is so much more than that. Over the past few years she has partnered with Dr. Vincent Ogutu, the chancellor and soon to be president of Strathmore University in Nairobi, Kenya to implement a community-engaged aspect in her management courses. Dr. Salmon’s work has not only had a huge impact on her students and the population in Nairobi, but it has also greatly impacted me.

    Partnering with her to work on my capstone was hands down the best choice I could’ve made. She has pushed me to think outside of the box and has opened doors for me that I never knew existed. She is kind, compassionate, and understanding, but also driven, brilliantly intelligent, and inspiring. Her passion for her work is contagious, and I know that the world is a better place for having her in it. I am so excited to see what the next two semesters have in store for us, and am forever grateful for her mentorship and friendship.

    Siena as a whole needs to be more aware of her work, her work ethic, and her inspiring outlook on life. She has inspired me in so many ways, and anyone would benefit from just knowing her. I am so thankful for her presence in my life and know that I have created a life-long friend and role model who will always be more to me than just my capstone mentor. I could not think of a more deserving woman to dedicate this post to!

  6. Cody Romani says:

    An influential woman in my life is my mom. My mom has been there for me, my brother and sister, dad, and the rest of my family all the time. My mom is a nurse who strives to serve others to the best of her ability no matter what. She always has and still goes out of her way to make sure everyone has what they need. I really miss her and her homemade meals. Since Covid started, my mom has worked hours and hours contact tracing and administering tests at Vassar College while still putting food on the table for my family and I. I strive to be like my mom and go out of my way to help others and sacrifice my time. Another thing I really admire about my mom is her strong faith in God. Her strong faith has helped me grow in my faith and I cherish the conversations I have with her. She gives me great advice and challenges me to continue to become a better person. I am so thankful for her love and support and am truly privileged to have her in my life. I cannot imagine my life without her.

    • Tamara McCallum says:

      Your mom sounds like a wonderful person Cody! Thank you for sharing, and I am so thankful for her service as a healthcare worker during this difficult time!

  7. The most influential woman in my life was my grandmother who was the epitome of strength, courage, and compassion. She had to experience losing two of her children then losing her husband a few years later. Despite all this, and not having much wealth, she continued to raise four other children alone all of who were unaware of the challenges she faced. No matter the hardships she endured, she always did everything with a smile on her face and never acted like the world owed her something. She also found time to help her neighbors and her community and taught me that giving people your time is more valuable than money. I think about her whenever I do an act of service because she truly instilled in me that kindness and empathy go a long way. I think that at times there is this notion that if you’re not rich, you can’t help, but my grandmother taught me that as long as you give your time and show you care, you may impact people more than any donation ever could. I will always carry her words with me and I will forever be thankful for her.

    • Tamara McCallum says:

      “Giving people your time is more valuable than money.”

      I think it’s safe to say you have embodied your grandmothers words in a great way! Thank you for sharing Sarah!

  8. Giavanna Pitagno says:

    The most influential woman in my life is my Aunt Tricia. She has not only overcome many challenges, but continued to achieve after them. She’s overcome thyroid cancer, stomach cancer, and an abusive marriage. In this, she has still been able to complete beautician school, and later go back to college, get her degree, and now work in a hospital as a surgical tech. All the while, being an amazing mother, stepmother, aunt, and sister. She is the life of every party, strong-willed, bold, and has a large presence in my community. She has the ability to make everyone she meets feel at home, and always has an open door. Her compassion and huge heart makes her someone I will always look up to and admire- and I will always be thankful for everything she’s done for me.

  9. Nancy Rasmussen says:

    The most influential woman in my life is my younger sister, Amy. Despite being younger than me and having less life experience, Amy has set a clear example to me that hardships and challenges do not discriminate based on age. Amy has persevered through many challenges that life has thrown her way in her 17 years. She is strong, resilient, and brave, and does not let the bumps in the road steer her off the course of living life to the fullest. I will always admire her “calm, cool, and collected” persona, and will continue to strive to be like her everyday. Lastly, I think it is extremely important in life to have someone that can never fail to put a smile on your face, and to me, that person is Amy.

    • Alexis D'Aloia says:

      Your sister sounds amazing!! It’s so cool to have someone younger than you that’s so influential.

  10. Nora Diede says:

    My grandmother is a woman that is incredibly influential in my life. She was born in Brooklyn, fell in love with my grandfather at fifteen, and started a family in her early twenties. Her adult life started very young and she was not able to go to college, as she had to care for my mother and uncles while my grandfather was deployed and then worked long and scattered hours. However, she had always dreamed of going back to school and getting her first paycheck, which would be a sign that she earned something. In her early thirties, after having her three children, she went back to school to become a nurse. Not only did she graduate number one in her class, she also rose to the top in her hospital and quickly became the head IV nurse. She worked nights and long days, and raised three highly educated and strong children.
    She is so important to me, not only because she was my best friend and the person I would come to tell everything to, she taught me to value education. She persuaded my parents to send me and my sister to a high school where women’s voices would be elevated, and she loved that I was coming to Siena. Unfortunately she lost her battle to cancer two weeks before I left for college. She left my mother, sister and I a set of three bracelets, which was what she purchased with her first ever paycheck. This was to remind us that we need to work hard for success, and fight for our education and future careers.

  11. Amanda Molloy says:

    One of the most influential women in my life is my mom. I know the answer is such a basic one but it is so true to say that no one has been more of an influence on my than her. She grew up in really hard circumstances and never had anything handed to her yet she always worked so hard and overcame everything. She is successful in her career and she is a woman of service. She is definitely one of the most selfless and giving people I know as well. She is the epitome of the type of person who would give her last dollar away to help someone else and I have always strived to have those qualities she has. She has always been such a good leader and showed me that to succeed you have to get out of your comfort zone and believe in yourself. I look up to her and everything she does constantly and think she is a great example of an influential woman for Women’s History Month.

  12. Rachel Gifford says:

    An influential woman in my life is my Aunt Rita. My Aunt was my mothers only female sister of 7 children. Growing up in a house with five brothers was always crazy, but she quickly learned to hold her own. When she was in her early twenties, she was in a car accident. She was pregnant with my cousin when she got hit by a drunk driver. She was rushed to the hospital and her and her son survived, but she was left with damage to her eyes, and she hasn’t been able to drive well since. Even though she could have died she stayed strong and selfless. She’s always been dedicated to helping people and lived and took care of my grandmother for many years.
    A couple years ago she found out that she had cancer and it spread throughout her body. She had cancer in five different parts of her body including her brain. After months of chemo, she is now in remission and the doctors said it was truly a miracle because all of her cancer was gone. I’m not only inspired by the trials she has faced, but her love, compassion, and sense of adventure. My aunt recently picked up painting and she is extremely talented. She never knew she had this talent, but her sense of adventure pushes her to try new things. There are so many reasons why I love her, and I’m constantly amazed by her strength!

  13. Elizabeth MacMurray says:

    When I read this blog prompt, my mom instantly came to my mind. She grew up in Boston with 3 sisters, joined the Coast Guard after high school, and started a family at only 20 years old. 4 kids later, she was able to create a life for herself while ensuring that each kid lives the best life possible. At a young age, she taught me that it was okay to be whoever I wanted to be. I was so lucky to have a Mom that embraced every flaw. I never met someone as determined and passionate as her. Through all the loss, hardships, and criticism, she’s been able to truly become the most giving person I’ve ever met. Currently, she is a Director of Therapeutic Recreation at a nursing home. There, she is always fighting for better care for her residents. She always expresses to me that she never understands why healthcare is so broken and this influenced me to pursue a career in health. In her career and outside of her career, she constantly puts others before herself. She knows how to make the world a better place and without her, I genuinely would be lost. Most kids are embarrassed by their parents, but my Mom has always been my best friend. She’s always there for me and for that, I will be forever grateful. My family always made fun of how close we were but really it was me in a state of constant astonishment. She made me believe that I could do anything with my life. Women like this are important to acknowledge. Women like this deserve all the love they can have with no judgment of who they love.

  14. Marlie says:

    For Women’s History Month, I have chosen to write about my capstone mentor, Dr. Jenna Thate. Dr. Thate has an undergraduate degree in Biology, a BSN and MSN from Hopkins, and her Ph.D. from Villanova. Dr. Thate is committed to providing quality care through her research, teaching, and clinical expertise. She is the Department Chair of Nursing, an Assistant Professor, and holds many other impressive positions including being the President of the New York National League for Nursing. Her research is published in many notable journals and will continue to be for many years to come. I very much admire the work that Dr. Thate has done, both on a local community level as well as globally. I am both honored and humbled to work with Dr. Thate and look forward to continuing working with her beyond my time at Siena.

    I am extremely grateful for all of the guidance and support Dr. Thate has given me throughout the last year, not only with my capstone but with figuring out how and where I want to pursue my nursing degree. She has ignited passions in me that I didn’t previously know existed including health informatics and nursing education. Before knowing Dr. Thate, I had never considered a career in Nursing Education, but since knowing her, I recognize the impact a caring and compassionate teacher has had on my own and other students learning experience. Dr. Thate knows when to push me into places I would have never considered for myself. Because of her influence, I have grown so much since knowing her. Her confidence in me means so much more than she will ever know. I know that each time I get feedback from her, I am growing personally and professionally. Her kindness, knowledge, and overall commitment to her students is inspirational. I am so fortunate to not only know, but directly learn from Dr. Thate and her experiences, and hope to one day be the role model to others that she is to me. Because of this, I feel as though she should be mentioned when considering influential women.

  15. Kayla says:

    When I heard the topic for this blog post, I immediately thought of my mother as the most influential woman. Kimberly McKay grew up in Trenton, New Jersey with her parents and her younger brother. She aspired to be a lawyer one day and valued the importance of education. Later in her life, she graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in sociology and a certificate in criminology. During her college years, she realized that being a lawyer was not what she wanted to do but still desired to work in the field. So she went back to school to get a paralegal certificate which led to her getting an internship with a judge. This opportunity led to an amazing job at a law firm with connections that would last forever. Kimberly married her highschool sweetheart and is raising two children. She displays an abundance of accomplishments but the one that stands out is her being an amazing mother and my best friend.
    My mother is the type of person to always show up no matter how little or big the situation. She never missed a basketball or soccer game as well as a track or cross country meet. The interesting thing is she really did not understand some of the sports but that never stopped her from being the loudest one in the stands. Her cheers were embarrassing at the time but looking back at it, it was the most beautiful thing ever. It was a constant reminder that she is here and will always support me no matter where I go in life.
    Something that I admire about my mom is that she is the most selfless and loving person I know. One particular example I can think of is when my mother fell down the stairs and was immediately rushed to the emergency room. She tore her Achilles and broke her ankle. Not only being in physical pain, but she was also emotionally shocked at how this could have been. However, the first people she turned to were my brother and me. She was worried about getting us to school the next day and what we were going to have for dinner. She continued to worry about anything and everything else except her own mental and physical state. She is always looking out for us even when she is at her lowest. I learned from this situation is that when a person is at his or her lowest, this is the time to be strong and this is when it really counts. Her actions today continue to be selfless and always have a purpose.
    Her patience and strength are unforgettable and something I always strive to have. Recently, this pandemic has hit hard for my family, especially my mom. My mom lost someone who she did not expect or prepare to lose: her father. His departure bought up emotions that were difficult to face and endure. My mom’s strength has been at its peak and I have never seen her more patient. She continues to have her head up high even though she is going through a roller coaster of feelings. I can feel her presence with me each and every day even though we are miles apart from one another. She has been the rock in our family even when most of our family lives in other states. She made her most vulnerable situation one of the most inspirational actions ever.
    Sometimes I think she is some superhero because I really do not know how she can have a full-time job as an administrative assistant at town hall as well as being the perfect mother.
    My mother has taught me everything from learning how to walk to making family dishes. She always taught me important life lessons such as that a mistake does not define who you are as a person. She made me realize I aspire to be just like her when I grow up. Although she taught me important life lessons and will continue to expand my knowledge, she has not taught me one thing: how to live without my best friend.

  16. Samantha Lunt says:

    The most inspirational women in my life is my mom. I struggle to put into words just how much she means to me and how much she has impacted my life. I look up to my mom in so many ways. I admire my moms strength and resilience so much, she has been through a lot in her life and you would never know it. I admire my moms faith and how she stands strong it in. She has taught me and my sisters to be kind and respect others, but also to stand up for ourselves and advocate for ourselves. She has done this through leading by example, I will always remember how much she advocated for me in times where I could not advocate for myself and she stand firm in her words. My mom is one of the most hard working people I know. I remember hearing stories from when I was little, she worked in the New York State legislature for many years and she would work long hours sometimes even through the night at times. I admired how she chose both her career and family. She was one of the first people that showed me it didn’t have to be one or the other. She inspires me everyday and I am grateful for all the lessons I have learned and continue to learn from her everyday.

    • Erin Spence says:

      I find so many of these qualities in my mom as well. It sounds like she has had a real impact on your life. Thank you for sharing this!

  17. Tori Mangelli says:

    The most influential woman in my life is my mom. She always encourages my sisters and I to do what we are passionate about and is always there to help us along the way. I feel like her kindness and compassion have rubbed off on me, at least I hope so, and she has just pushed us to always be overly kind to everyone in our path. I definitely did not get her social skills, as she is able to talk to anyone and everyone, but I admire that so much about her and hope that one day I will be like that as well. I just feel like she has inspired me to be my best self always and that’s something that everyone needs. She is also super cool and has traveled and worked like all over the world, which I hope I will be able to do as well.

  18. Nicole Pazarecki says:

    A woman that made a large impact on my life is my mom. She is a college graduate from St. Francis College and has established her own business that has now been open for 25 years. She has always been involved with the community by being apart parade commits, parish leadership roles and a loving mother. My mother is a strong independent women that has always taught me to stick up for myself, but at the same time be compassionate towards other. She has made me into the women I am today and I am very grateful to her.

  19. Alexis D'Aloia says:

    A woman that has greatly influenced me in my life is the one and only Kiara Woodward. Kiara means so much to me not only as a friend but as a mentor as well. We have grown closer over the past few years since leading the WV trip together and having all of our Social Work classes together. Kiara lives out what it means to be a kind, compassionate and understand human. She is always supportive of my self and others, and is always ready to take on a challenge. She is very level-headed and therefore I can always count on her for advice in any given situation. Other people should know about Kiara because she is a genuine leader who is always there for others whether it be just to lighten the mood in a group setting or for deeper support as a true friend. If you haven’t gotten a chance to get to know Kiara, I highly recommend!!

  20. Parker Taft says:

    They say that behind every great man is a great woman. One of the most influential women in my life is my 11th Grade AP U.S. History Teacher and Student Government advisor Laurie Darling Gutheil. A graduate of Hartwick College. She has been a teacher, a mentor, and a friend. Her passion for history and politics knows no bounds, but her biggest life goal is to impart to her students the wisdom of our forefathers and the lesson of our past to prepare us to fulfill our full potential. She coaches both college and High School level sports while acting as an advisor to several school clubs and mentor promising students, guiding them through the college admission process. I know she was an invaluable help to me during my Academy application process and was a major influence on why I chose Siena for college. Even when she was suffering from food poisoning on our Washington D.C. trip, she continued to guide us around Washington, lecturing us on the famous landmarks and important historical events while also quizzing us on the knowledge we needed to know for our upcoming exams. My fondest memory of her was the last time I saw her as a student, just before I graduated. We were gathered as a Student Council, outdoors and socially distanced at a local dining establishment; as we got ready to leave, she came around and imparted words of wisdom to each of the graduating seniors. “A good mind is not something to be wasted; neither is an ambitious spirit; together, they make a rare combination that will leave its mark on history. Work hard, persevere, and you shall triumph.”

    • Erin Spence says:

      It is so incredible when we find someone who we can look up to as a mentor. Common interests help people to connect and I definitely can see this is the relationship you formed with this teacher.

  21. Dana Wakeman says:

    I find this prompt to be incredibly difficult because I have been so fortunate to be inspired by a number of women whether they be family members or public figures. So instead of picking one person, I want to describe a number of the first women in politics as they all have made it possible for more people to get involved in politics. Jeannette Rankin was the first woman elected to Congress in 1917, so she was elected before women got the right to vote nationally, and later was the only person who voted against the US entering WWII. Shirley Chisholm was the first Black woman to serve in Congress in 1968, and she later ran for president too. Tammy Baldwin is a current Senator from Wisconsin and she is the first openly gay or lesbian person to be elected to the Senate.

    All of these women have spoken up and made sustainable changes for future generations of women and girls, so I thank them for their work and hope to make them proud in my future career. And even though I profiled a few women in politics, there are so many more women that have impacted politics, so check out this website to learn more https://cawp.rutgers.edu/facts/milestones-for-women.

    Finally, as Vice President Kamala Harris says, “while I may be the first, I won’t be the last”, so let’s all work to make our world more inclusive and representative.

  22. Jonathan Limey says:

    The most influential woman in my life has been my mother. Yes, I totally owe being here to her, in so many ways. With both my parents working at my home parish that was always a big part of my life, but it was my mom who invited me to start participating there. It wasn’t forced or encouraged, it was invited. This changed my life completely and is what started setting me on this path of service and faith. My mom always supported me and helped to find my passion for service. She did all of this while raising me. I look back on many periods of hardships in my life and realize how much harder it was for my mom then because of all of these variables I didn’t know about at the time.

    My grandmother has also been a very influential woman in my life. The two of us have joked for years that we are psychically connected. My grandmother once had a reaction to a medication she was given before surgery. She is 100% fine, and the surgery went well. They just postponed it and she had a stomach problem for a while. The weird thing is I got food posing out of the blue at the same time, down to the hour. We are literally connected somehow. She is the person I always go to when I need to talk to someone and if I don’t talk to her she will end up texting me just because she had a feeling I needed it.

    Lastly, I would like to note that I have almost exclusively been taught by women in my life. In my career of formal education, I have had only a handful of male teachers who were all at Siena besides one from highschool. I owe a lot to all of the amazing women who have helped me learn up to this point in my life, and in the future.

  23. Kiara Woodward says:

    Women are pretty awesome. There have been many women in my life that have made profound impacts on my life. Some have come in the form of friends, family, mentors or a mix of all three. I am very grateful to be surrounded by so many strong women who continuously inspire me to be the best version of myself.

    The woman that I would like to highlight as being influential in my life is my grandmother. (Don’t tell my mom. She is great too). My grandmother is kind, caring, and thoughtful. She can fix any problem you have with her grandma magic. I’m not kidding I think she can do anything. To know my grandma is to be loved, accepted without judgment, and embraced with open arms. I aspire to make others feel the way she does. In short, my grandma is a super cool lady!

  24. Michelle Villa says:

    A woman I look up to is my mom because I admire her for being able to live in America and leave her country at a late age. When she was born, her country was still suffering from the effects of war and was slowly recovering to the country it is today. She left South Korea with her sisters and lived in the town that I was born in. She learned some English in her education back in Korea, but still had to continue learning when she lived in America. In a small town where I live, there were not a lot of Asian people except for her sisters, so she left incredibly lonely. However, she didn’t let that hold her back and became very active in my elementary school even though her English wasn’t the best at the time. My dad was out of the country due to working, so she would be there and support me. She’s been a huge advocate (sorry dad) and was overcome challenges as an immigrant to support me.

    • Erin Spence says:

      Your mother’s story is so inspirational, Michelle. Thank you for telling a piece of her story!

  25. Erin Spence says:

    In my personal life, my mother has been the most influential person who has impacted me in more ways than I can say. For so many reasons I look up to her as a role model. Throughout just this past year, she has been through so much and has experienced a great amount of loss. I have watched the ways that she has dealt with this and I admire the strength that she has to endure it all. As everyone else does, there are days that she becomes overwhelmed, but she continues to persevere. She has taught me to focus on the bigger picture and the things that I can be grateful for, and less on the little things. Her value and love of family were instilled in me from her at a young age, and I am so grateful for this. She knows what is important in life. She is also always the person that I can go to at any time when I am struggling. Her understanding and empathy bring comfort that I know I can always count on. I try to model my life and interactions with others by the example that she has set for me. Her values have impacted the trajectory of my life and the person I have and am growing to become.

  26. Maura Lynch says:

    A woman I’d like to highlight is my mom, Sighle Lynch, who has influenced me to be the person I am. My mom gave me my confidence, independence, and determination. She always supported my brothers and me and never showed us anything but confidence in our abilities and potential. My mom is a defense attorney for our county and is probably the smartest person I know. She has never been anything but independent, even with her parents and my dad on her side. She is an immigrant and is always up for whatever life puts in her way. My favorite story is when my parent’s mutual friend offered them both a job at his law firm- my dad as a lawyer and my mom, also a lawyer, as a receptionist. She put him in his place. Shoutout to my favorite lady!

  27. Stephanie Da Fonseca says:

    To me one of the most influential woman in my life is my grandmother, she was born in 1940 as a black woman things were hard enough for her. She came from a poor family and ever since she was a young teen she worked as a maid at a rich family’s estate. She then fell in love with one of her boss’ sons and so did he. Since my grandmother is black and this young man, my grandfather, was white his family did not approve at all, but my grandfather didn’t care. They got married in secret and moved out without any help and lived a simple life. Through struggles and seven pregnancies later, my grandfather died when his youngest son was only 5. My grandmother lost her love and now she had to feed 7 children all by herself. My grandmother never went to school due to the circumstances of the time but she worked 3 jobs at a time and no one ever went hungry in that household. 7 kids, 19 grandchildren later my grandmother was able to never let her kids be hungry and she was able to successfully open a business, and has 5 rental properties and her own home today. A black woman who came from nothing, who is illiterate because she could never go to school accomplished all these things. She is an inspiration to all of us and will always be!

  28. Ecli Vazquez says:

    A woman that has inspired all my life has been my mom. As single mother she not only raised me to be the person I am today but also how to treat woman. I feel that within the current social climate women are very under appreciated and not treated as they should. This why I’m happy my mom showed me how strong women can truly be and the true value they hold. Growing up my mother sacrificed a lot for me, for this reason I would like to be the same type of parent my mom was to me.

  29. Jackson Regan says:

    If you were to ask me who I view as an influential woman, it would be Billie Jean King. Not only had she been a big LGBTQ advocate, but she has campaigned tirelessly for women’s equality, especially in tennis. She is one of the “original nine” women who founded the current Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), and she defeated Bobby Riggs in the “Battle of the Sexes” while fighting for equal pay. Not only is here legacy as an incredible tennis player secure, but she has also helped make tennis one of the few sports to not have a huge equal pay between men and women. She will always be a strong woman and incredible tennis player and resilient fighter.

  30. Julia says:

    My older sister Abby is an influential woman who I look up to every day! Abby is confident, determined, intelligent, compassionate, strong, and beautiful (on the inside and the outside). During the pandemic Abby served (and continues to serve) as an EMT and an emergency technician. She is constantly working overtime to help out at base and the hospital. Abby has an appreciation for life that comes from seeing so much hardship, pain, and loss. She has always wanted to help people and I am so proud of her. I am so thankful for my big sister- I wouldn’t be the person I am today without her. Women rock!!

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