Make Your Choices and Own Them

I would like to thank Union Pacific for nominating me and Profiles in Diversity Journal for awarding me this prestigious honor. Receiving an award such as this makes you reflect on what shaped your career and personal life to get to this point. There are many people who have influenced my life along the way, and it has made me realize that my personal philosophy is that every experience, interaction, and relationship is teaching you something. As I look back at all the different jobs I have had, places I have lived, and friends I have made, I realize that they got me to where I am today. And ultimately, the person who taught me this at a very young age was my grandma.

Grandma never offered her opinions on your life choices, as she believed that you should make your own choices and have no regrets. She did not have to say it very often because she always led by example. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degree in teaching and taught for 10 years. She married later in life and ended up being an amazing mother to four kids. Her path did not look like many of her peers, but she never looked back.

Her example made me fearless in always making my own choices and learning how to own those choices. When you can own the decisions in your life, you can make the best of them. You can focus on the positive outcomes. Hence, my personal philosophy that everything in life is there to teach you something. You never know how something will help you in one week or one year.

My grandma passed away this year at the age of 96. I feel so grateful that I was able to spend so much time with her and have her influence my life. I would like to dedicate this award to her, as I never told her how much her guidance gave me the courage to be who I was always meant to be.