On the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, a day that celebrates the achievements of women globally, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on the accomplishments of the women in my life.
My mother’s mother, Rita Carr, was born in 1915 and grew up in the Great Depression. She was the 1st in her family to attend a University, graduating from Tufts University, and was a trailblazer in her time since most women graduated from Jackson College. By working part-time and through the support of her siblings, her family collectively pooled the money to pay her tuition, room, and board. It is incredible to me that when my grandmother was born, women did not have the right to vote in the United States. It’s even more amazing that despite the odds, she earned a degree from Tufts, an elite institution. She understood, as do many girls throughout the world, the value of an education.
My own mother, Judy, is the female role-model that has inspired me over the last 32 years. My mom graduated from the University of Maryland in the early 70s and by the time she was my age, had three children under the age of 5. My mother was one of those women who had a career, raised a family, and nurtured a beautiful marriage. She has always worked to enhance the development of children, both in a Preschool setting and for the last decade with Head Start, and is passionate about fighting for children’s rights. She’s the one who taught me at an early age that all people should be treated as equals.
On a more personal level, Judy always prioritized her own children to ensure that they had every opportunity at their fingertips. My brothers and I participated in extra-curricular activities by the dozen and she’d shuttle us without complaint. She watched every game (or at least sat in the stands), cheered at every meet, and celebrated every report card as if it was the best one yet. I sit where I sit, with the opportunities available to me, because of my mother’s sacrifice and love.
I recognize that I’m beyond fortunate. There are approximately six hundred MILLION girls throughout the developing world and approximately 1/4 of them are not in school. That’s the same as saying that HALF of the American population is not in school. It’s mind boggling. And yet, these girls have the same goals and dreams as teenagers in the U.S. They want to be doctors, social workers, and teachers. We recently shot a 4 minute video in the Everest Region of Nepal, interviewing these girls about their lives, and we encourage you to watch it and spread the word. We’re looking to create a movement because we believe it’s about time for global social change.
This International Women’s Day, if you want to make a difference in the life of a girl in rural Nepal, make a donation. It’s the gift of education.