Super Woman: Shalisa Gilliard

A SuperWoman, an ordinary woman who does extraordinary things. I have had the privilege of meeting countless people who fit this description. Women who have overcome so much. They bleed resilience and strength and use this power to help others. I believe that these people deserve to be celebrated and that’s what this series is for. To acknowledge incredible women who do inspiring things.

21 years ago today ended my days of being an only child (not that I remember those 9 months in any capacity). From that moment on it was always Layshan and Shalisa, as kids you couldn't hear one name without the other. Like many sisters close in age there were times when we had to dress alike, share much of the same things, even birthday parties. It was as if they were trying to mold us into the same person, but they failed. We’re both unique with our own personalities, likes, dislikes and ambitions. There are things in Shalisa that I admire and sometimes wish that I had in me. Qualities in her that make her a Super Woman indeed.

She's currently a Junior at Temple University, a Criminal Justice major with a Psychology minor. But that wasn't enough, she’s also enrolled in Temples 4+1 program. Meaning in 2 years she will be graduating with her masters degree in Adult & Organization Development. She’s using all of this to be a mediator/negotiator when she pursues law school.  None of this comes easy, Shalisa’s determination and drive is what fuels her to be able to accomplish her goals. Its one of the many things I truly admire about her.

And in 4 short months there will be a set of tiny eyes that will admire her 100 times more than I do. I’m thrilled that in between all her hard work my sister was able to find love and from that my beautiful niece will be born.

Its funny because Shalisa’s exact words when I told her I was writing this article were “what could you possibly say about me?" Those are the words of a person who doesn't realize how extraordinary they actually are. And I’m so proud of my sister, for everything shes accomplished. Zola is so lucky to have such a strong woman like you as a mother.

I love you!

Happy Birthday!