“Here’s to strong women.”

“Here’s to strong women.
May we know them,
may we be them,
and may we raise them.”

As a woman and as a mother, that quote has always resonated with me. It rings especially true on this celebration of International Women’s Day.

I’ve been fortunate enough to be inspired by so many strong women who have both “known the way” and “shown the way.” I’m forever grateful for their leadership and their example.

I wish it was possible to tag/call out every strong woman who has had an impact on my life, but I’ll have to settle for this simple “thank you.” Please know that if I’ve worked with you or for you, you’ve helped to shape who I am and who I strive to become. Professionally or personally, if I have touched your life in any meaningful way, I can say without a doubt that you’ve done the same for me.

…I shared the above on LinkedIn today and realized that a blog post was the perfect place to expand a little. While it’s still impossible to “shout out” every fierce woman I’m thinking of, I do want to make a few specific acknowledgments:

  • To Joan, my fourth grade teacher, for showing me that teachers have the potential to change children’s lives.
  • To Catherine, my high school debate coach, who helped me find my voice and see my potential.
  • To Colleen, my colleague and friend, for reminding me that strength isn’t always loud. You inspire me to be a better leader and a better mother.
  • To Heather and Stephanie, both for demonstrating a fierce spirit and strong will, even in the most difficult circumstances. As a mother, I am awed by your resilience.
  • To Jennifer, whose kind heart, open mind, and unwavering loyalty have touched my life in countless ways. Spending time with you helps me to be a better me.
  • To Liz, whose friendship has zero strings attached and who believes in me enough to help me believe in myself. You’re the kind of human I want to be.
  • To Kim and Lindsay, who are fierce advocates for young children and inspire my “know better, do better” approach to my work.
  • To Madeline, who carries a piece of my heart with her daily and reminds me of everything that’s right in the world. Being your mother is truly a privilege.

As the saying goes, “Anything you accomplish has the fingerprints of great individuals who have come before you, helped you get there or paved the way.”  Thank you all, for your fingerprints here and everywhere else you touch.

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