Women Who Inspire Us

Emma

As Women’s Month is upon us, I would love to recognize the woman who inspires me and supports me through every up and down I have ever faced. That woman is the strongest woman I know, my mom, Lori. Growing up, my mom didn’t have the life that I have been lucky enough to live, with a beautiful home, a strong family including my mom, dad, sister, and two dogs, family vacations, and people who I can always rely on to have my back. My mom was born into a family consisting of a single mother after her father left before her birth. At the age of only four, my mom lost her mother to a tragic car accident, something I could never imagine facing at such a young age. She was then bounced to her grandparent’s house where she lost her grandmother at the age of eleven and her grandfather at the age of thirteen. Luckily, my mom’s aunt, her mother’s sister, took her in and raised her to be who she is today. Even after such a rocky childhood, my mom found all of the good in her life, including best friends she still has to this day. She put herself through college, attending classes during the day, only to go home and take off for a shift at work. My mom has been through more loss and personal battles than anyone I know, and was still able to raise a loving family, put herself through college, and maintain a great career at Upstate Medical University. Outside of all of the logistics of her life, she has done nothing but work to make our family happy, showing up to any sports games or track meets I had, being there for every award ceremony with a bouquet of flowers, and just checking in on me to see if I am okay when away at college. To top it all off, she has never been that uptight, strict mom that a child fears and hides their secrets from, but she has always been more of a friend, someone I can confide in and talk to whenever I feel at a low, or even someone I can tell my wildest stories to without feeling judged. There is nothing better than receiving little GIFs from her in the morning, reassuring me that “I can do it!” I don’t know anyone quite like her, and I can’t imagine having a better mom. I mean, the girl has her own Instagram! How much cooler could she get? So thank you mom, thank you for persevering and giving me the life I couldn’t imagine changing. You are the strongest, most beautiful, and powerful woman I know. 

Emma Gero with Mom Emma Gero

Erin

The woman who inspires me is my sister, Rachel. Although we are 10 years apart, she has always been there for me during the highs and especially lows in my life. After everything with my Mom happened, I didn’t know what to do with my life. Plus, everything happened around the time of puberty and, at first, I thought I had no one to go to for that stuff. However, my sister was there to help me through all of it. She helped me through those awkward moments by stepping up and acting like a second Mom to me. Rachel was there when I was going through my depression and recommended that I go to therapy and get actual help, and not just live with my dark thoughts. She was always there for me academically, urging me to go off to college instead of just attending a local community college. Rachel always helped me with a class even if she had no idea what to do. I am so appreciative that she is in my life and has invited me to go on vacation with her and her own little family. If she didn’t, I would not have been able to get my first tattoo! She took me to Wildwood, New Jersey for the first time and took me on my first up-side-down roller coaster when we went to Disney. When we took the trip to Disney, she surprised me with a cake that had my favorite character, Peter Pan, on it! The two of us have always been super close growing up, but now we are even closer. When I moved into my dorm, I was upset to leave her and I know she was upset to leave me. All I want to do is make her proud! I am so glad to have her in my life, and I have no clue what I would do without her! I wish

I could be just as smart as her, I can’t wait to walk across that stage seeing her proud of me!

Erin Blank and her mom Erin Blank

Kailey

I am most inspired by my mom who is literally a superhero. She holds me together and can handle anything and everything. My mom is my best friend and I would be lost without her.  She does so much and thinks of everyone before herself. I can't wait to have a relationship with my kids someday that resembles the one I have with my mom.

I'm also inspired by my grandma because she's wild and honest - "bold and beautiful" if you asked her. She has always been the person I want to talk to when I'm my happiest or my saddest. She is so unapologetic but sweet and loving.  My grandma takes care of everyone and will do anything to make sure I am doing well. She is so thoughtful and special and I hope I am like her when I’m a grandma.

Another woman who means the world to me is my high school English teacher/mentor/friend, Mrs. Hartmann.  She has always been there for me and pushed me to do things I was scared of but definitely capable of. She is a role model to so many and the perfect image of the kind of teacher I want to be someday.  I wouldn’t be who I am today if I never met her.

Jordyn

For this woman’s history month, I felt like I needed to call out the women in my life who are the most important to me. There are so many women who I am eternally grateful for, and my list could go on and on, but two people stand out above all else. First, is my mom. My mom is, probably, one of the most influential people in my life. She is, by no means, perfect, but then again no one is. The great thing about my mom is that no matter what is happening in our crazy lives, she’s always there to make sure that we are doing okay. In high school I dealt with a lot of mental health problems and she was always there to check on me. My mom herself has dealt with a lot of struggles in her life, going through a divorce, dealing with financial struggles, changing her job late in her life, and so much more. Through everything though, she has persevered and made it through whatever life has thrown at her. She truly cares so much about everyone in her life and constantly reminds them of this. She truly is such a compassionate and caring person that continues to strive in her life, even through her struggles. 

Jordyn with Mom Jordyn Robison

Next, is my cousin Stephanie. My cousin has continuously amazed me throughout her life. She’s the oldest cousin on my mom’s side, and has always been the one to bring our family together. When we were younger she would invite all of us over for a cousin sleepover where we would make dances from songs and have so much fun. My cousin also got her masters degree in psychology while raising her daughter. Everyday she continues to inspire people to be the best version of themselves. She has been through so much in her life, but it never stops her. She helps people just by being herself and sharing her story. Continuously, she spreads so much love and joy to the people in her life. She embodies the love and passion that I hope to have someday. Also a special shout-out to my future sister-in-law, Sarah, for being a bad ass boss women at only 24, and my little sister, Kayla, for continuing to push herself no matter how challenging life gets. SO much love.  Jordyn and cousin, Stephanie Jordyn Robison

Jenna

Selflessness is an ideal that we all want to have, but scarcely achieve. But Missy Wilson achieves this on a daily basis. She always puts her loved one’s needs before her own without a second thought and is a natural caretaker. Through thick or thin, she will always stand strong by your side, ready to help and comfort. After everything my mom has been through in life, she is still so open to love and willing to give it. This is what I admire most about her: her unconditional ability to love. I can only wish I could be half the mother she is.

Another woman who inspires me is my sister Kelsey Francis. It’s strange to realize that you and your siblings are grown up women and actual adults. But I know no one better at adulting than my sister. No matter the situation, she always has her eye on the ball and knows exactly what she wants and will never settle for anything less. She has both hustle and heart, and her ambition and loyalty to her dreams is something I could only dream of one day achieving.