Women’s History Month and Fight for Life

Every March, people in the United States celebrate the achievements and history of women as part of Women’s History Month. As Women’s History Month begins to wrap up, we wanted to take a moment to honor the women that move Fight for Life Foundation forward every day. Whether they’re using our Building Dreams platform in schools, attending our Be A Blessing events, or running the ship behind the scenes – Fight for Life Foundation continues to thrive because of the skills, leadership, and wisdom of the women on our team.

We interviewed some of those women last week, including a coordinator (Mallorie), a board member (Carolyn), an educator (Stephanie), and a team member (Anna).

Here’s what they had to say!

Q: What is your relationship to Fight for Life Foundation?
Mallorie: Be A Blessing Coordinator
Carolyn: Board Chair
Stephanie: I am a 4th Grade teacher at Sankofa School of Success & have used the Building Dreams platform the last 2 years.
Anna: Director of Program Management

Q: How long have you been with us?
Mallorie: Since April 2017
Carolyn: 3 years
Stephanie: 2 years
Anna: Almost 2 years!

Q: Who are the most influential women you know?
Mallorie: My mom & sister
Carolyn: My mom
Stephanie: The most influential woman/women I know are my grandmothers and my mother. All three hard-working, loving, kind, and women who persevered through hardships.
Anna: My mom & my grandmas

Q: What have been your barriers and how did you overcome them?
Mallorie: Being young and inexperienced out of college was challenging. I quickly realized how much room for growth there was for me personally and professionally. I’ve struggled at times with work-life balance. I’ve learned to schedule time for myself to do and enjoy the things I like outside of work. This has been extremely beneficial for my mental health.
Carolyn: Barriers: Ageism, Sexism, Elitism. I have not overcome them but have refined how I want them to impact my life. As such, I set out to be the author of my own ending. I lead and pray, give and care, and rise when I fall with good supports.
Stephanie: My barriers when I was younger was the divorce of my parents. This caused me to drop out of college and alcohol came into play. I lost sight of my true calling and vision to work with children. My best friend woke me up and I went away to college and the independence of being away and on my own created a “drive” in me to do what I was called to do. I remembered back at the words my grandmother told me, “Stephanie, you are going to do great things in the mission field.” My mission is working with urban families especially my students and creating an attitude of perseverance. Never give up, believe in yourself and you can do anything!
Anna: My main barriers have been sexism and the symptoms that come from experiencing adversity, trauma, and society at-large. These look like perfectionism, fear, anxiety, limiting beliefs, and self-criticism. I’m not sure I’ve overcome them; however, I have learned how to work with them through finding community, pursuing lots of therapy, and consistently taking my SNRI prescription.

Q: What makes you a good leader?
Mallorie: I am a good leader because I have used my curiosity to continuously learn and develop new ideas. Over time, I’ve learned that you don’t have to have everything figured out, you just need to have the willingness to be taught and learn. This has helped me grow professionally and personally and has allowed me to have a greater impact on the organization.
Carolyn: This is an interestingly phrased question. A leader is a person not a position. As such, I am a good person. I put others before myself, I seek to lift up and amplify rather than tear down and crucify. My heart and purpose belongs to God and people
Stephanie: I am a good leader because I love what I do, I build relationships with people and never give up. Compassion and passion to make a difference drives me.
Anna: I like people and genuinely want everyone to move towards their highest selves. I have the ability to “zoom out” and see a problem from all angles. I am confident in using my voice when it comes to advocacy for others, and I stay curious and cautious about the ways power & privilege, and lack thereof, affect us as a whole.

Q: What advice do you have for young women who want to be in a leadership position?
Mallorie: Have confidence, be courageous and don’t be afraid to take up space. Your voice matters. Be willing to learn and stay humble.
Carolyn: Know what you bring to the table first. Find a seat at tables where you can contribute. When contributing ask who is not at the table and why you do the work you do to stay true to self, God, and our purpose.
Stephanie: Persevere ad never give up. Hard things are part of life, but don’t let them define you. Overcome and reach for the stars!
Anna: Work on building confidence and self-esteem. Tap into your intuition for decision-making. Use your voice. Don’t stay silent. Be brave. Fight against the powers that work against your success. Ask for help. Lean on the generations who have come before you. You are meant to be here.

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