No one has an idea about how many times I have thought about the women that has transformed my life in some shape or form. I in all honesty was in the car on my way to the dentist and I couldn't stop smiling at how wonderful life was to me for learning so much from such powerful women figures. The media does portray strong women figures and I am moved by those ladies as well but not as much as those who I actually grew up with and gotten to know over the years. I feel this immense luck that I was able to meet these women that I am going to introduce in this blogpost. Not only are these women strong, inspirational, and loving but these women also remind me that just being yourself is enough and that if you set your mind to something, it is possible to achieve. You have to believe in the odds, struggle with the obstacles, and have faith in oneself that the outcome will work out. Perhaps not exactly as planned but maybe even better!
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Kara Baker -
I have met Ms. Kara unofficially in my brother's parent night (she teaches English, Theory of Knowledge, and is a CAS Coordinator), I was a sophomore at the time and one of the first conversations I had with her we were already talking about books and Theory of Knowledge or at least she was attempting to explain what the class was. Eventually I have come to an understanding what that centered its idea on but that is not even the beginning of the story. Throughout my whole time in the International Baccalaureate program I could say she was my mentor. Senior year was beginning to look like a messy obstacle course but I felt like her classroom was one of my nests. I was able to be myself, no censorship, no faking my happiness when I wasn't feeling my normal bubbly self, having my extended family living in a another location, it was nice to have someone I can talk to about anything and about everything. People like her are rare and I am glad to be able to keep this gem.
Elizabeth Wells -
The first time I have met Liz, I was probably in seventh grade and I have never seen such long curls before. I remember when my brother presented you at the house and normally I feel uncomfortable to meet new people less talk to new people. Yet I had this feeling that Liz was special because my brother doesn't fall in love or have crushes. My brother is the type of person that will study until night falls and sleeps if he was lucky enough because he was in the International Baccalaureate program too. (Now I see where my behavior comes from) One of the sweetest, most intelligent and dedicated women that I have come across. She was also in the International Baccalaureate and so she understood my struggles. Liz, makes college life seem like an easy transition and honestly I want to to say is because of how open-minded, nonjudgmental, and risk-taker she is. Constantly trying new things and making the best out of the situation, inspires me to do the same. Gives me hope to know that college is possible and that no matter how big dreams can be that they can become a reality. I am so glad I am able to call you my future Sister In-Law! I have always wanted a sister and now I do.
Mory Santiago Hermina -
Oh Mory, this woman I have met in Hawaii when I was probably in seventh grade as well and she has three beautiful girls who share her same charisma. Any conversation I have I am either speechless like speechless without words or laughing my head off. I am inspired in a way that her confidence radiates any room she is in. Nothing can embarrass her because instead of being shameful about her flaws she is well acquainted with her flaws that has molded her into the person she is. Charismatic, hilarious, understanding, I know if I had any worries or urges to speak, Mory is the person to speak to because each story told is as brilliant as the first one told. I feel like you take beauty into a new level and I am glad that through laughter any obstacles encountered become more manageable. Great support from a great woman, what more can I ask for!
Alejandra Santillanes -
Ale, I have met her my last year of high school near September or October as she was the college adviser for my school and we bonded faster than a blink of an eye. At first there was some warming up to where we are but as the year progressed, I enjoyed going to my courtesy period just to talk to her. A graduate from UT Austin and still going to school to learn more about Special Education, I am already blown away from her dedication. To live the student life and still go to work, now that must be hard but I also wish for the same when I graduate. You prove others that people can have the best of both worlds as a student and as a worker. In a way I also look up to you because you make me appreciate my petite figure because of course being petite is not going to stop us from shooting the stars even if that means we need to get a extra long ladder to get there!
Jennifer Majchrzak Giza -
Ms. Jenn was actually the first teacher (who was my English teacher and CAS coordinator if anyone wonders) I saw my junior year which is the first year as the International Baccalaureate begins. My thoughts were a tie between as to what I have I gotten myself into and how far will I go into this program before I lose my mind. Thankfully I do not share those thoughts anymore because throughout the years I was given a chance to meet her more thoroughly. The one thing that has always stuck out to me about her is how she is able to be completely herself and not have to sugarcoat anything. She will say things as it is and from there it all depends on how the person who is receiving the information decides to react. So much strength, character, and love I will be honest, at some points I found myself uncomfortable because I had never met a person like her. Sometimes I thought she could see through my skin and I was emotionally in the nude but those are the people who makes the differences in people's lives. I am still inspired by her behavior of continuing to do my own thing even if no one follows or in case people do decide to follow that they see me for who I am.
Marisol Nieves (Mom) -
Mother, mother, mother, we first met on my birthday which is actually coming up really soon. Whether I am just saying this because she is my mom or because I do mean the things I say to her, she's been my number one. Always inspiring me to take risks even if this meant prying my arms from her thighs so I can mingle to the other pre-kindergartners, or continuing in the International Baccalaureate program when I wanted to call it quits. She always has faith in me when I don't see it in myself and that is honestly one of the greatest features of being a strong woman figure by helping other women figure out their self-worth and being to lift up one another from any insecurities. Not that many women will be willing to lend out a helping hand and regardless of the history of the relationship my mom has with another individual, she will still remain herself and even help. Sometimes I think some of the individuals my mom speak to do not deserve such kindness when little to no kindness was given to her but either way she has the strength to push pass that and not let the problems define her. I wish to be as strong as you are mom, one of these days. There are some cases where I question where you get this power to continue living this managed life but honestly it is your relationship with God that transformed you into the person you are.
Elisanet Perez-Velazquez -
I have known Elisanet since I was probably in sixth or seventh grade in Hawaii. I remember meeting her at a gathering and immediately something clicked because I was really intrigued to talk to her. Even at that age, my eyes did not look at age, appearance, but more on behavior, the way someone speaks and express their ideas made me want to know what would strike those motifs in the first place. There was a time where she was having heart problems and seeing her in pain but still pushing onward and continuing to live her life that baggage she carries like a sack of potatoes. Now that we live apart from one another, I still enjoy speaking to her because our conversations are nothing about boys, makeup, or what the latest celebrity did but more like an exchange of ideas and exchange of advice which I prefer that over anything.
Laura Prieto -
Not many know that Laura is my godmother less that she used to be a cross guard at my elementary school when I was in the fourth grade. Laura has always been a special person to me, who constantly looked after me during high school as she was the Counselor Clerk at my high school, was my ears when I needed someone to talk to, the one I shared many laughs with among with the staff in the office. The first thing that you would notice off the bat is her warm, charismatic attitude even though some individuals were not as warm or charismatic in return. Despite how horrible the day could of gone for me she always brings a smile to one's face and with that was enough for me to know how strong her character is. A petite lady is not even a description to describe how much this woman means to me, she knows how to stand her ground, knows how to deal well in sticky situations, knows how to tolerate people and manage the different behaviors or attitudes that comes across and find ways to make the day end on a good note. I couldn't have picked a more amazing person to be my godmother and be able to rely on her for anything especially when she is just around the corner. You have definitely taught me to continue smiling on and pushing forward even when I want to throw in the towel. Things do get better, we have proven that throughout high school!
Alice King -
Oh my, I met Alice kind of unofficially in my first Mothers Against Drunk Driving meeting in September of my junior year of high school. Though, officially I didn't get to know Alice the way I know her now until around November 2013 when I decided that status should not get in the way of making friendships. I remember having this mentality that students are not supposed to be friends with mentors because I have heard that in a class my sophomore year but I am so thankful that I broke that rule! Or else I wouldn't have met such an incredible, loving, strong, hilarious, charismatic woman. To be a single mother and just see from the outside of how life could be a unexpected waves of emotions and obstacles, Alice still remains open-minded and helpful to those around her. I am not embarrassed at all for our friendship, our age, positions, none of that matters except for the person you are within. That is what I have learned, that nothing is better than being yourself and not caring about what others may think. Alice within the two years (and the much more that will continue) our lives are way different but we still manage to make time for each other and I do live for those moments when I get to catch up with you in person and not simply through messages.
Yoly M Cortez -
Best friend since fourth grade or more I should say my sister from another mister, you have proven me so many things! You have proven me that friendships are not perfect but because they're not perfect it does not mean that they will not work because look at us now, eight years into and makes me forever grateful for you being in my life. We have defeated the odds when I moved to Hawaii and then I came back freshman year and failed at surprising you at the door... You know almost about everything about me that you can pretty much see right through me even when I am acting out of character. Your character, strength, words of advice, I have been using continuously I believe that is why I have grown to have thick skin even though sometimes I can be a complete softy. Taught me to not care about what people say about me because only I know what kind of person I am. In addition, that I should not give out so much credit to people in my life and be grateful for what I have this very moment. (Is it weird that I still remember the first time our moms met, it was after school and I remember the smell of pickles because the PTA would sell them after school. I was eating popcorn and our moms were just talking. The start of a wonderful friendship I want to say!)
Yolanda Marquez -
My second mother who treats me like her own, no moments together are ever awkward or uncomfortable. Knowing you since I was in fourth grade, I feel like we got along rather quickly or it could also be because I was always at the house on Friday afternoons. Your motherly support and warm attitude, taught me that you do not have to be related to love someone. Hard worker as secretary for your husband's business and still have room to take care of a family full heartedly without complaining, strength like that has inspired me to believe that there is no excuses. When you enjoy doing something you love and when it comes from the heart doing work is not seen as a hassle but a highlight of your character.
(Mi segunda madre que me amas como si su fuera de ella, ningun momento juntas no ha pasado raro o incomodo. Conociendo te desde el cuarto grado, el relacion entre nosotras se formo rapidamente o tambien podia ser que siempre estaba en la casa despues de escuela los viernes. Tu apoyo y calentita actitud, me ensenado que no necisitas ser relacionados por sangre para amar algun persona. Trabajadora como secretaria en el negocio de tu esposo y todavia tener el tiempo para cuidar tu familia totalmente de tu corazon sin quejas, tu fuerza me ha inspirado que las excusas no existen cuando esta pasando haciendo las cosas que te hace feliz.)
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Who inspires you?
PS. Forever in my thoughts! <3
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