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It was September 19, 2000—a defining moment in my life, my shot at shaping the trajectory of my future. I was there, against the odds, listening intently to the professor standing at the front of the classroom.
I was in uncharted territory. Graduate school. Twenty-five hundred miles from home, I was now living in the state of New York where everything was new: school, job, apartment, and baby.
Yes, the newborn sleeping peacefully in my lap was new to me too.
On Tuesday, I had given birth to my daughter at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany. On Thursday, just two days later, I was sitting in statistics class, with an infant in my lap. The odds were against me but there I was, taking on the impossible with my graduate school sidekick, Kerené.
She came with me every single day for two years.
Graduate school is just one example of my obsession, my drive to progress. I have an insatiable desire to be first, to be greater than average, to be the best. I am a force—accomplishing what I set out to do.
This obsession with progress is not limited to myself. I approach life with a strong, relentless desire to learn and grow with others—taking the time to care and build relationships with those around me.
In graduate school, fellow students became my biggest supporters, watching over my sweet baby girl so I could attend class. I was a force, full of care and wrapped in care. I was unstoppable.
When you take time to care about people, people take time to care about you.
Today, I am a leader driven by forward progress. Getting shit done is a lot of fun. My drive, however, is wrapped in care.
Every morning, I wake with a fierceness to make life about everyone else, to be an example of what it means to be a strong woman and leader in today’s world. I want to create a community of women sparring together with trust and vulnerability. Above all, my heart seeks to help women let go of judgment, set their sights high, kick ass—and smile while they do so.
Fifteen years of leadership experience, and I feel I’m just getting started. There’s so much more for me to do. I’m experiencing life. I’m taking risks. I’m leading with heart. I’m encouraging women to raise their hands. And I’m doing so with an intense hunger to embrace the world with the right attitude, energy, ambition and gratitude.