Strong, Smart, Bold
April 23, 2012 • comment(s)
Last month, I had the opportunity to attend the New York City Girls Inc. Luncheon honoring phenomenal Girls Inc. National Scholars. Companies that support the organization such as The Coca-Cola Company, Goldman Sachs, Macy’s Inc. and ADP were also honored. Girls Inc. is an incredible organization that works to empower girls to reach their full potential and to understand, value, and assert their rights.
As I sat through this luncheon eating my lunch, I reflected on all of the opportunities I was given because of the support of all of the important people in my life. As one of many examples, if it weren’t for the encouragement of my friends and family, I would have never moved to New York City to begin my career. One National Scholar grew up in homeless shelters and lost her mother at age 2. I cannot truly comprehend what her life must have been like, but she has been able to find opportunity where most imagine is impossible. She will graduate from Howard University in May and is starting PhD in Environmental Engineering with a focus on international development at John’s Hopkins University in the fall. If it hadn’t been for Girls Inc. and some incredible mentors she met along the way, this one young woman’s story would not have been possible.
Growing up in a Midwestern college town and then moving to Washington, DC and New York City has given me access to incredible mentors throughout my life. Sometimes all we need is a little encouragement or someone to be an example of what we want to become. I have always had an exemplary woman to model myself after: my mother, who grew up in the South and didn’t know it was possible for a woman to become a Doctor until she got sick in college and to her surprise, her attending physician was a woman. From that moment on, she never looked back.
There are prominent and obvious examples of accomplished and talented women who we can all look up to and admire – Michelle Obama, Ellen DeGeneres, to name two of my personal favorites – but in our daily lives, we should strive to become the women that the younger women in our lives can look up to. When I think of the difference that Girls Inc. has made in so many young women’s lives, it reminds me how important a mentor can be. To all of the many mentors in my life – teachers, friends, professors, supervisors, coaches, my sister and my mom – I thank you. Without you, I would not be me. Who are some of your mentors?
Jessi Gordon is a proud native Midwesterner, spent some time in Washington, DC and is currently a public relations professional in New York City. She enjoys blogging about healthy recipes with an occasional post dedicated to Michelle Obama or Kate Middleton. You can read her blog at jessicagordon.tumblr.com or follow her on Twitter at @JGordon337.