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Who is your Shero?

Amazing women are everywhere.  Do you have a woman hero?  Share your story with us here!

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I love Sarah Huckabee-Sanders! She is well educated, strong, determined and a family oriented woman of faith. I especially love how she was slammed verbally by the naysayers in public and she chose to respond like a fearless true lady. I miss seeing her but I respect her choice to pause her career in order to concentrate on raising her children. I applaud her fortitude.

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Tara VanDerveer, Stanford Women's basketball coach.  She was the final speaker at a women's conference in San Jose, CA in May, 1996.  She made a huge impression on me, and influenced my career in ways she would not know until many years later.  She told us the story of how when she was named Coach of the Women's Olympic basketball team for the 1996 Olympics, she put gold medals around the necks of the players and told them this would  be them next year!  Told them to put pictures up in their homes to remind them of the prize at hand.


I went on to be a Marketing executive in Silicon Valley and later co-founded an executive search firm focused on Finance professionals.  Tara was the featured speaker at a Finance Executives meeting and diuring the social hour I noticed she was standing alone, so I went and introduced myself.  I told her my story, and she then asked me for recruiting tips!  I was blown away!  And.. during her speech that evening she told the story to the audience.


She is my Shero!

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Hands down - my Mom. She endured poverty, an abusive childhood, was forced to leave school at 16 and go to work because of the Depression, found true love ( my Dad), and survived 4 devastating car accidents - none of which were her fault - she was a passenger every time. Those injuries resulted in several major surgeries, a permanent limp and chronic pain for the rest of her life.  She was an amazingly resilient woman with a phenomenal strength of spirit.


Most definitely my Shero!  Love you always, Mom.💕

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My Shero is my lovely daughter, Ifeoma Harper.   From the day that she was born, she brought  sunshine into my life.  Her pet name is “Sunshine”.  However, this is just the idle chatter of an adoring mom.  My daughter is my Shero, because of her thoughtfulness, generosity, and genuine love for her fellow man.


Although, as a parent, I may have laid the foundation and principals that are important for a child to succeed in life, she taught me the most important things to having a fulfilled life.  She taught me how to be a genuine friend, who is loyal and dependable.   She taught me acceptance because not everyone is perfect. Hell, I am far from perfect.   She taught me how to compromise, because sometimes you have to be willing to make concessions.  She taught me how not to have an evil tongue towards others, because gossip

is hurtful.  She taught me how to actually listen to others,  not always making it about me.

She taught be about generosity, giving is actually very rewarding.


You ask, how did my daughter teach me these things?  Through observation.  Just as our children learn from us through our actions. I observed her as one of the ‘popular girls’ in elementary insist on being friends with the little girl that was bullied, so she would no longer be taunted and bullied.    I observed her in middle school as team captain of the cheerleading squad, volunteer to teach cheerleading at a community center for low income students. I observed her while in high school, volunteer tutoring services for middle class students.  I observed her while in college, come home on Christmas, and Thanksgivings breaks and volunteer to feed the homeless.   


Post college, married and three children later.  I observe her as she adopts needy families for Christmas,Thanksgiving, etc.  I observe her as she mentors young girls in crisis.  I observe her as she sits on Boards, that reflect her ideology of helping people.   I observe her when she takes my grandchildren with her to feed the needy, or pack care boxes for seniors, teaching them about their civic duty, and giving back to the community.  I observe her as she donates time and money to various charitable organizations.  I observe her whenever someone she knows experiences a loss, being there with a listening ear, an inspirational book, a card, etc, whatever they need, monetary or what, she is there.


She does this all while, being a wife, mother, and top executive in the corporate world., and the best daughter ever.   She never forgets birthdays, anniversaries, etc.  She is Loved by everyone.


She has made me a better person, from observing her. She is my Shero.  If I could start over, I would want to be just like her when I grow up.


My granddaughter was born with cystic fibrosis, but she has never let it stop her from doing what she wants to do. She was such a skinny little girl, but she would fight anyone who picked on her even her cousins who were 10 years older and much bigger. I remember an email I received from her saying she was not supposed to live to 23 but that today she'd reached 23 so every day she lived now was a gift from God. Living with CF is not easy. At least twice a year, she had to be hospitalized for routine treatment; phone calls letting me know a lung had collapsed again were not unusual. She worked part -time jobs to attend the university of her choice and received her bachelor's degree in physics. She has her master's degree and is planning to receive her doctorate in astrophysics and education the end of this year. The best news is that she's now 30 and, with the latest advances in research and new medications, she weighs over 100 pounds for the first time in her life. Now she's hoping she and her husband will get the green light for her to become pregnant.  


I can say almost all women have an intelligence that men do not have. Maybe all do, but I have not seen some women willing to reveal it. Since I am a man and have been so lucky to receive that wonderful gift from women that are my friends, I have always known women were smarter than men. My best friend until I was six years old was Barbara Ray. She was the little sister of Peggy Ray and Peggy was my big sister's best friend and they lived across the street until we moved far away. Barbara was my translator because nobody could understand my speach except her. Not my parents nor sister. So from the start Barbara was the smartest person in the world for me. I can remember so clearly the day I finally had enough confidence to ride my bike to the top of the hill that started at my driveway. I made it to the top and put one foot down to rest and enjoy my achievement. Then I saw Johhny walking quickley toward me. He was best friends with the bully next door to me. My mother had told me often to stand up to a bully and so I got off my bike and stood up straight, which is what I thought she meant. Johhny had a big grin on his face and I prepared to be struck. His blow was not physical but I was not ready. "Mark, Barbara is not your friend anymore, she is my friend now." So at three years old I was demolished. I forgot about the need to stand up straight and raced back down the big hill. I rounded the corner at the bottom of the hill and caught sight of Barbara. The world was still very turbulent for me. I told Barbara of my despair! Just a smile, and, "No, I am your friend.",  and the world again became wonderful for me. Yet it was something so great that I will never forget it. I can remember many other times she made the sun shine and the clouds disappear. Every time I think of Barbara I am thankful of the magic she brought with her. I will always love Barbara. Mark.


Definitely my mother, Pieretta!  

we come from Rome Italy where she became a doctor as she wanted to marry one (which she did).  She had incredible strength and adventuresome spirit - when she saw an ad in the paper looking for doctors in Libya, she said "let's go to Libya!".  I was just 7 at the time and spent 4 years in Tripoli (before Gadhafi) with my sister and brother.  My father didn't want to stay there so he became a Dr on a cruise ship and my mother stayed behind with my little brother while my sister and I went to boarding school in Rome for a year.  In 1962 we joined my father in Miami Beach where he decided to try the "American dream".  My mother went thru internship and residency and took the board exams to practice medicine in the States, studying and being on call every other night and throughout all that she had 2 more kids.  She specialized in radiology & became the Chief of Radiology at the VA hospital in Houston and after retiring from that kept working part time in another hospital until she was 84 and was diagnosed with Alzheimer and was afraid of making mistakes.... Besides working as a doctor, she used to re-tile bathrooms, re-upholster couches, sewed dresses and did yard work and came to visit me when I worked overseas in several places including remote places such as Irian Jaya, Indonesia where there were still tribes that wore **bleep** gourds and bones in their noses.  She was AWSOME and I miss her every day!


When, I first read about Joan of Arc in high school and I was thrilled that a woman wo was only 19 decided it was time to lead an army and kick the British out of her country.  
where did she get her courage?  Was she intuitive and know it was her time to be courageous!?! She must have practiced and fought other skirmishes at times in her life.

I thought to myself, if she had that courage and stamina to destroy  her enemies and be self confident, then I can fight the demons that was always haunting me. My sister had passed when I was 5 and could never shake the dread haunting me.

That dread followed me into my dreams and waking life.  I was always angry,depressed and fearful.

Joan of Arc was my guiding light and  I strove that I would take her courage and battle my own demons. 
Even tho, she was burned at the stake, she never gave up Hope!

Her faith and hope burnt my demons, which changed me immensely.

Shine on, Joan of Arc


Hard to know where to start, but I'll start when my daughter, Sayde,  was just starting to attend law school at Tulane  Univ. in New Orleans...for one week at least, then Hurricane Katrina struck and she had to wife, Cheryl, and I drove down there from upstate NY to move her in the dark from her apt. on the 2nd floor of an private home...the first floor was "gone" (!) from the storm except for the stairs leading up to her apt.  We got her/belongings out and  after being stopped by state police 2-3  times who thought we were looters, moved her and her stuff up to Chicago where I had friends and where I was born. After she was settled in w ith a friend we went back to NY. After things settled down a bit in New Orleans, she was advised that law school would start again in Jan.....the catch was that she would have to do her entire first year of law school in just ONE SEMESTER!  Regardless, back she went, and we joined her again to help her find a new place to live.  She did find a place, in she moved and started school again.  Back we went to NY.  The next 4+ months were torture for her given the volume of school work, and the still mostly destroyed New Orleans. That said, she completed her first year and all these years later still lives in New Orleans, completed law school and currently works as the legislative director for the President of the New Orleans  City Council.   She has thrived, loves everything about New Orleans, the people, culture, especially the arts.  I couldn't be prouder of my wonderful daughter and all that she has survived and accomplished!


When I was about 16, I was kind of unsure of what I would be doing in my life.  I worked on our school newspaper and our local paper offered a scholarship for a summer school in Journalism at our state college.  There was a lecture there by Betty Friedan, who had just published the book "The Feminine Mystique."  After hearing her talk, i felt better about my choice in life, as I did not quite see myself as being married and having kids, but continuing on to a career of my choice, which is what happened.  While I am not a total feminist (I believe that woman should be able to do what they want to do, whether be a housewife, teacher or whatever, Friedan gave me a more positive image of myself.

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