Playing for the Good of the Team

Strong, brilliant, and powerful women have not been difficult to come by for me. I’ve always been surrounded by amazing female role models. Both of my grandmothers were exceptional women. One reinvented herself at the age of 56—she earned her master’s degree in education and became a high school teacher. The other, a single mother of four, managed her home, worked full-time, was an active member in her local church, fed and helped clothe anyone who needed food or clean clothes, managed to bake fresh donuts, cakes, and cookies for her family and friends regularly, and never missed a Sunday family dinner!

My mother was a young mom, and with the support of my father and grandparents, was able to attend college. Once I started school (I was the youngest of five), she went to work and rose quickly as a director in her agency. My mother shared with me her bumps and bruises along the way. She demonstrated the importance of family-first and self-care, and the need to dust yourself off and stay in the game when adversity came. She also reminded me that powerful women are playing for the good of the team—you’re creating space and opportunities for others who will come along.

In addition to role models in my family, I also had phenomenal teachers, and even managers, along the way. They showed me how you can be powerful, have your voice heard, be a disrupter and change agent, yet still be kind, respect all people, hold firm to your values, and show up as your authentic self. I’m forever grateful for all these wonderful women in my life.