Finding Your Power Across Generations: Empowered Women Empower Women

By: Caleigh Joyce

As I search for inspiration in my daily life my mind is immediately drawn to the women in my family. Their stories have been told to me my entire life, typically by other people, rarely by these women themselves, and when they do tell their stories it is always with a tone of “well what else did you expect me to do?”

“A woman is like a teabag. You never know how strong she is until she’s in hot water.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

My Grandma Nancy immigrated to New York from a tiny, remote farm village in Ireland. She saved up every cent she had and moved to Dublin when she was eighteen, spent a year working in the city, and then booked a ticket to New York, it was the first time she had ever left home. When she arrived in New York, it was completely overwhelming. She was staying with a very strict aunt, who was the only person she knew in America. She spent the first few weeks there walking up and down the streets of Manhattan searching for a job. This was made difficult by the heavy racism that existed towards Irish people in America at this time. Most businesses at the time had signs posted in in their windows saying, “Irish need not apply.” She finally found a position at a restaurant in a small corner of the city. By the time her first year had passed, she could never dream of leaving America. She spent the next decades starting a family with my grandfather and as she had found a love of taking care of people, she became a caretaker for the elderly, a job she had for the rest of her life.

My Grandma Bette was one of the first women to attend the University of Minnesota. She graduated with a degree in journalism. Using the motivation of the female workforce that emerged during World War II, she pushed into the man’s world of journalism refusing to take “no” for an answer. She wrote about the rising world of television, current events, and architecture. Using her new journalist badge and a large amount of pluck, she was able to talk her way into several once in a lifetime experiences. Once she even used her status as a journalist in Minnesota to crash Princess Grace Kelly of Monaco’s wedding. Another time she convinced a security guard to let her into Carnegie Hall when it was closed. She insisted that my grandfather, who was an architect, simply had to see it, and that they would not be leaving until he did. Defying the odds, and working with grit, luck, and perseverance is something that she still does today. She is currently 93, and is about to publish her memoir, A Lifetime of Luck and Pluck, the fifth book she’s written in the last decade.

My mother, Susan refused to pay attention to the boys at school who didn’t believe and didn’t want girls to be smart. She worked hard and proved them all wrong by growing up to attend Harvard. When she graduated, she started what was quickly a successful career in Boston and New York, and then went back home to Minnesota when I was born. After realizing she had way more energy than a sleeping baby, she started a financial consulting business. Again, deciding to ignore the boys who said that girls couldn’t be good at math, she successfully ran her financial business while raising two children. Now she uses her math skills for good, consulting for nonprofits and using impact investing to help change the world into a better place.

“Women have to harness their powerit’s absolutely true. It’s just learning not to take the first no. And if you can’t go straight ahead, you go around the corner.”  -Cher

As with so many empowered women before them, the women in my family have a power that is quiet, but obvious. They don’t walk into a room demanding you notice their strength, but you see it with the way they walk anyway. My Grandma Bette, who just turned ninety-three still makes heads turn when she walks into a room.

I see so many women with stories of how other women in their lives have crossed great mountains without ever asking for praise for it and have become embarrassed when it is given anyway. But I think it is so important to acknowledge the odds that women have overcome in their daily lives, and throughout history.

As I look towards the future, I think of graduating college this spring, and heading out into the real world. Inspired by the injustice women, as well as people of color and LGBT people have faced for centuries, I am committed to fighting for equality and human rights, and hope to get a job where I can help to make a difference. I look back at the great women who have come before me and hope that the memory of their victories will empower me with all the strength and courage that has come before me.

 

Girls Just Want to Have Funds: Why Women Should Invest

By: Caleigh Joyce

Before my mother and father got married, my mother (who has a CFA, has a master’s degree from Harvard in business, and began her own financial consulting business in 1998) had already begun to take over her mother’s finances with the help of her financial advisor. After she married my father (who has a Communications degree and works in Public Relations), the financial advisor congratulated her… and asked to take her husband out to lunch. After that, every financial advisor they ever had only wanted to deal with my father- and ignored my mother.

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Women in the Running: Making This Midterm the Opportunity of the Century

By: Haley Kaul

The wave of women is rising. The midterm elections are coming up on November 6th, and it is important to look at those on the ballots. This midterm, there is an influx of women running for political offices. One of the biggest factors of this increase is probably the multitude of male politicians that don’t have women in mind. In fact, many of them often disregard another perspective. This leaves women wanting to fight for the positions that have let the female narrative fall through the cracks. Women want to make life better for other women.

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Swing for Power Like a Girl: Women Creating Community Through Sports

By: Julia Carpent

Teams are the heart of all accomplishments. Whenever we succeed, there’s always someone we owe at least part of our success to. Any shared identity creates a team. Families are teams. Staffs are teams. Women are a team. So perhaps team sports are a reflection of all the ways sharing an experience with others brings us joy. But most importantly, they offer a sense of belonging and hope.

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Finding Your People: Key Steps to Cultivating Positive Communities

By: Angela Hugunin

Some of us may be familiar with the Jim Rohn quote: “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” To some, this may be an alarming idea. Others may find it thrilling. Some of us may be somewhere in between.

Since moving from my hometown to a new city this past year, I’ve been thinking a lot about friendship and community. It was really tempting for me to enter that new place with a closed mindset. I had great friends back home already; how was I supposed to find new ones that I actually connected with?

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A Job With Training Wheels: Interning at a Startup

By: Sylvia Deyo

 

If there is one day of work that I feel best captures my internship with Find Your Power it would be one of the last days I was at work before taking a month off for summer break. Ivy (the Founder), another intern named Katie, and I were meeting to discuss the upcoming Poetry Jam event and ended up on the topic of our upcoming movie showing of Embrace. We had been dealing with a very frustrating company for the rights to show and the provision of the film and had recently been told contradicting statements from them. We were scrambling to keepthe showing going but weren’t hearing back from the company. Finally, one of us floated the idea of showing it on our own, without the middleman. We had less than a week to make this happen. Katie was able to get the school she worked at to host the event in their cafeteria. Ivy got to work contacting all the people who had purchased tickets to the event in order to update them on the new plan. Meanwhile, I worked on getting the ticketing to work. This involved using the donation platform I had set the organization up with early in my internship and putting the tickets up on the FYP website. I ended up on the phone with the customer service line for both the website and the donation platform, both ofwhom I had been in constant contact with over the course of the two months of interning. But eventually, we pulled it together, in under 3 hours no less! The showing was a success and helped to get our mission out to potential advocates. I had no idea that the work I did researching and signing up with a donation platform within my first week of work would be useful for event planning and outreach, but that’s what it was like working with FYP.

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Poetry Jam!

By Abby Koshollek

 

As we reflect on 2017, we have much to be thankful for and proud of. One of the things we are most proud of is the great success of our first annual Poetry Jam and Silent Auction at the Urban Growler in Minneapolis in November! We had over 100 people in attendance, hosted 10 amazing artists, and raised just under $2000 throughout the night! We absolutely could not have done it without our team of amazing volunteers, our fearless leader Ivy, and all of those who attended and supported us. We are so excited to see where this event goes in the future and to grow with our amazing partners, artists, and supporters.

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Brazilian Beach Bod

Finding confidence amongst the most beautiful women in the world

Abby Koshollek

 

Confidence is something I think about a lot. Probably way too much. I know right away when other people have it and I am envious in comparison that I don’t. My default reaction to another woman’s fearless aura is to wish I was more like her. It took me almost four years in college to not get nervous or overthink speaking up in class even when I knew I had the right answer. I like to think that I am more sure of myself now, but still I find I have to pump myself up by blasting my Lady Power playlist before a meeting or event or even walking to class in the morning. I often psych myself out by internally saying that I am unprepared for a situation and everyone else around me instinctively knows what to do, how to act, and what to say.

Of course, this thought that everyone is in on some confidence secret that I don’t have isn’t true. In my mind I know this. I tell myself this before starting a new job or experience and I still get nervous. I’ve had conversations with countless friends and mentors that prove to me everyone is shaky in their confidence. Everyone views themselves as out of place at one point or another.

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