International Women's Day - Those Who Inspire Us

March 8 is International Women’s Day — a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. Individuals and groups across the world unite on this day of celebration to honor women's achievements and rally for women's equality. This year, the theme for International Women’s Day is #BreakTheBias.  

“Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women's equality. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias,” explains the International Women’s Day site.

In celebration of this day, we asked the women on Team Starlight two questions:  

  • What is their favorite inspirational quote? 

  • Who inspires them and why?  

As you read their answers, think about those that have inspired you in your life – past or present. We hope this will encourage you to reach out to those that have made an impact on you and motivate you to keep pushing towards your goals, whatever they may be.

  • Aimee, Sr. Director of Marketing & Community Engagement 

Favorite Inspirational Quote: “To hope is to gamble. It's to bet on your futures, on your desires, on the possibility that an open heart and uncertainty is better than gloom and safety. To hope is dangerous, and yet it is the opposite of fear, for to live is to risk.” - Rebecca Solnit, Hope in the Dark 

Who inspires you and why? All of the women who put their ideas and voices out into the world. Two that come to mind right now are Octavia Butler and Ursula K Le Guin, two of the most profound science fiction authors of all time. When times get hard, there's no better reading than their books.   

  • Alex, Sr. Coordinator of Community Outreach 

Favorite Inspirational Quote: Idk if this is inspirational but I find myself saying "What will be will be" a lot to manage my stress!

Who inspires you and why? My best friend Sophia inspires me! We were randomly assigned roommates in college and, in our second year, she discovered she had cancer when she got her wisdom teeth removed and it wasn't healing properly. She went through a very scary and intense treatment thousands of miles from home and had to withdraw from school. Her mom couldn't always be with her during treatment, so her friends made time to visit her and even stayed over in her hospital room a few times. We rang in 2017 together there! She came back to school after about a year of treatment and worked hard to graduate with all her friends. She's the most chill, most thoughtful person I know.  

  • Devan, Community Engagement Coordinator  

What is your favorite inspirational quote? “Discovery consists of seeing what everyone has seen and thinking what nobody has thought” - Dr. Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

Who inspires you and why? Anyone who can command a room without devaluing the leader-follower symbiosis.  

  • Emily, Sr. Manager of Digital Media 

Favorite Inspirational Quote: “I found that ultimately if you truly pour your heart into what you believe in — even if it makes you vulnerable — amazing things can and will happen.” – Emma Watson 

Who inspires you and why? I’m constantly in awe of the women that I’ve been lucky enough to grow up around – my mom and sister. My mom’s work ethic has always inspired me to strive for my professional goals while her passion for our family has reminded me of the importance of a work life balance. My sister truly does it all; as a Physician Assistant, mom, and small business owner, she continues to encourage me to put my heart and soul into every aspect of my life. 

  • Lauren, Sr. Manager of Partnerships

Favorite Inspirational Quote: “My mission in life is not merely to survive but to thrive and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” – Maya Angelou

Who inspires you and why? From my best friends to my mom to my sister, I am fortunate to be surrounded by fierce, independent, smart, brave women who inspire me daily. In these unprecedented and challenging times, we are able to support one another and remind each other there is always someone there to listen and laugh with.

  • Madison, Sr. Manager of Fundraising Campaigns & Events 

Favorite Inspirational Quote: “Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.” – Judy Garland 

Who inspires you and why? I am inspired by people who choose to be teachers, especially my mom and sister. Their experiences have shown me that it takes an incomprehensible level of passion to overcome the challenges that teachers face, especially in this new era. Teachers are the cornerstone of our society — they deserve all the love, respect, and appreciation in the world for the difficult job they do ensuring the safety and success of this generation of kids.   

  • Sandra, Director of Mission Delivery 

Favorite Inspirational Quote: Don't be a hard rock when you really are a gem. – Lauryn Hill 

Who inspires you and why? I am inspired by the mothers/caregivers of the kids we serve. Before becoming a mom, I didn’t truly understand what it meant to have a sick kid. The strength and fire these parents have to express while still nurturing and caring for their baby (no matter their child’s age) is beyond what many of us can understand. Their stories motivate me to keep going, to be grateful, to be gentle but strong, in all aspects of my life. 

  • Sara, Sr. Manager of Mission Delivery 

Favorite Inspirational Quote: “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” -Fred Rogers 

Who inspires you and why? Chris Nee, the creator of “Doc McStuffins”. Dottie “Doc” McStuffins is a beloved African American girl who hopes to be a doctor, like her mother, but plays with her toys and dolls to practice fulfilling her dreams.  Creator Chris Nee has brought play, education, and love to children’s television for nearly 20 years.  Not seeing herself represented on screen, Chris took to writing and depicts LGBTQ+/BIPOC characters in her work.  Chris goes out of her way to employ women and people of color, focusing on inclusion on all of her projects.  She’s even partnered with Michelle Obama to bring new children’s characters to young viewers today! 

  • Tara, Sr. Manager or Community Engagement   

What is your favorite inspirational quote? "Look for something positive in each day, even if some days you have to look a little harder." - Oprah Winfrey 

Who inspires you and why? Mothers inspire me. Especially moms of sick children. I never knew fear until I became a mom and I held my daughter all night when she had a high fever. That fear is nothing compared to hearing your child is seriously ill. Yet these moms are the ones who aren't sleeping and staying bedside to their children. Learning everything there is about their child's diagnosis and the vocabulary to speak to doctors and nurses. They have hope even if it seems hopeless and the most strength I have ever seen in a person. 

  •  Tayllor, Analyst Logistics & Finance 

Favorite Inspirational Quote: "To succeed in life you need 3 things: a wishbone, a backbone, and a funny bone." 

Who inspires you and why? Always and forever my mom. She is such an extraordinary woman who can infuse any situation with positive energy and humor. She's been blowing me away with her awesomeness as long as I can remember, and she will never stop inspiring me! 

  • Taylor, Digital Media Coordinator 

Favorite Inspirational Quote: “No is a complete sentence.” - Elizabeth Olson 

Who inspires you and why? My mom inspires me constantly. She is one of the hardest working, most selfless, caring, and kind human beings I have EVER met. Her compassion and generosity never cease to amaze me, and I truly hope I can be even half as amazing as she is. 

  • Traci, Director of Strategic Partnership Development 

Favorite Inspirational Quote: “When sleeping women wake. Mountains will move” – Chinese Proverb 

Who inspires you and why?  There are many but my sisters both have inspired me. One of them has a chronic illness that she manages with such strength and grace, and one lost her husband with 3 young boys and has taught them to grieve and to move ahead while keeping his lessons for them to learn.  My sisters are strong women that I learn from every day.

Starlight is honored to have such an incredible group of women on staff that all are so unique in their backgrounds, passions, and goals. We hope these quotes and stories will empower you to #BreakTheBias and continue to move towards a world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.

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