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L’Oréal Paris’ philanthropic program, Women of Worth is celebrating 15 years of honoring amazing, influential women who give back to their communities and make the world a better place through their passion and dedication. Beauty shines from within, and each WOW Honoree has been someone we can say is truly beautiful, inside and out. If you haven’t had the chance to meet them, keep reading to be introduced to 15 Women of Worth from years past. Get ready to be inspired!
Erika Ebbel is advocating for STEM students everywhere. A 2006 Women of Worth Honoree, she founded Science from Scientists, an organization whose goal is to inspire STEM students through school programs and workshops in 2002. Since then, she has also co-founded Ixcela: The Internal Fitness Company, which focuses on restoring internal health through the gut microbiome, and Robots in Service of the Environment, a nonprofit aiming to develop robots to help the environment. Pretty cool, right?
Who is a Woman of Worth to you?
“Captain Kathryn Janeway—the Captain of the Starship Voyager in Star Trek Voyager. As a child growing up, this was my favorite female role model. She was strong yet gentle, opinionated yet thoughtful, kind yet firm, feminine yet not a wallflower. She was a leader, and her team respected her and believed in her. She had to learn many hard lessons and had to adjust her course accordingly.”
What's one goal you have for the next 15 years?
“I have two broad goals—one professional and one personal. The first is to grow and scale my two companies—Ixcela: The Internal Fitness Company, a biotech company that has a pin-prick test that looks at the health of the gut microbiome and provides personalized diet, nutrition, lifestyle, mindfulness, and supplementation suggestions to our clients with the goal of helping people live healthier lives, and Science from Scientists, a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve STEM literacy in the community and across the globe.
“The second is to continue my personal mission to become a better leader, manager of teams, and friend and spouse. I have had to do a lot of personal development to learn the skills necessary to be a better teammate and friend. I hope to have the opportunity to continue getting better at these skills.”
What made you want to get more involved in your community?
“In all of the activities I am a part of, typically, I have seen a missing link in something very important and have decided to do something about it. Whether it is seeing a need to help children and adults appreciate science more because I was hearing children and adults saying that science was "stupid" or "boring" or "useless," or to helping people live healthier lives by empowering them with information about their health, or even through some of the environmental work my husband and I are a part of. Getting involved came from seeing that there was a problem that needed solving and then going out and doing something about it.”
How do you recommend others get involved in their own communities?
“Think about what could be better in your community. Is there a missing link? Something that could be done to help some area of a process, or maybe a group of people? Do some research about what is currently being done. If someone else is already working on it in the way you imagined, perhaps join them to strengthen their cause. If not, think about starting something yourself. The first thing is realizing there is a challenge or problem; the second is determining what is currently being done. Joining up with folks who are already working on something is a great idea. If you have different ideas, you can float the idea of maybe starting something yourself.”
How do you practice self-care?
“For mental health, I try to meditate at least three times a week for 15 minutes. I should be doing it every day, but I'm still a work in progress! For physical health, I try to do stretching and strength exercises for 45 minutes at least four times a week. Exercise is great because it keeps stress at a minimum and keeps my internal systems moving.
“As a person in the gut-health space, I'm trying my best to balance nutrition, lifestyle, and wellness. I love walks outside, baths and marzipan chocolates, ahi tuna served rare, and McDonald's French fries. Sometimes sour apple martinis and a Good Old Fashioned (with only one ice cube, of course). These things all help when life is challenging, and you just want to hide under the covers and hope it passes!”
Chances are, you’ve seen Areva Martin grace your TV screen at one point or another. 2008 honoree Areva is known for sharing her authentic opinions on everything from celebrity news to race and politics. As a mother to a son with autism, she founded Special Needs Network, Inc. to advocate for children with autism. This Harvard Law school graduate has certainly left her mark and continues to do so.
“A Woman of Worth is a woman that sees a void and fills it. She is a woman who trusts her intuition and allows her passion to propel her into action. She doesn’t let antiquated tropes or stereotypes prevent her from making bold and courageous actions to solve some of the country’s most pressing problems.”
What makes you feel empowered?
“I feel empowered knowing that there is strength in numbers. I am acutely aware that my success and power are inextricably tied to the millions of women, some who have gone before me, some who are my peers, and others who are in generations to come, but all of whom share common goals and willing to put it all on the line to improve the lives of their families and communities. This inspires and empowers me to do the work that I have the honor of doing for individuals with disabilities, disenfranchised women, and children.”
What's one goal you have for the next 15 years?
“I just started a mental health digital therapeutics company for women and particularly women on Medicaid. My goal, over the next 15 years, is to grow this company into a global company that removes the barriers and stigma that women face in seeking mental health care and to provide digital mental health services to millions of women.”
How do you recommend others get involved in their own communities?
“Start where you are and do as much or as little as you can do. Often times, people think they must have a lot of money or time in order to volunteer. Neither are true. Nonprofit organizations need hundreds and sometimes thousands of volunteers. Even if you can give one or two hours a month or a week, it makes a difference. Find something you are passionate about and identify an organization doing work that you value. Contact that organization and jump in. Volunteering is contagious!”
What does being a Woman of Worth mean to you?
“It has been one of the most meaningful awards and affiliations of my professional career. I have been fortunate to receive a great number of awards over the last 10 years, however, the sisterhood created by L’Oréal with the WOW award is unique. Attending last year’s celebration reaffirmed the incredible resources that are invested to not only select outstanding honorees, but also to ensure continuity and ongoing support for the work of each organization. I was especially honored to be selected as the inaugural Karen T. Fondu Award.”
Maimah Karmo is a best-selling author, speaker and coach, and cancer survivor. After being diagnosed with breast cancer and starting chemotherapy at age 32, she founded the Tigerlily Foundation, an organization created to support and empower women diagnosed with breast cancer.
“I love leading with love. I love serving others through my work. I love asking those tough questions that speak truth in power and inspiring others to elevate the way they think, feel, and behave in positive ways that make an impact. When I see someone become inspired and shift, that fires me up!”
What's the best piece of advice a woman has ever given you?
“My 4th grade teacher told me one word at graduation. She said, “Remember this word—perseverance.” Her words have always been with me, no matter what has happened in my life. I don’t give up—it’s as if the words are ingrained into my veins. I also love Miriam Wright Edelman’s quote, ‘Service is the rent we pay for living.’ It is a quote that I live by.”
“All of my life’s journey—going through three wars, being hit by lightning, being held at gunpoint during the coup d’etats in Liberia, surviving breast cancer, and more. Because I’m alive, I am responsible for my sister and my brother. I am responsible to put out the energy, words, and actions that I want to be. Others have sacrificed so that I could be alive, and I have an innate commitment to be the same for future generations.”
“Find out what inspires you and just do it. Don’t wait to know everything. Join another organization or begin your own. Every one of us has gifts and talents that can contribute to society in a significant way—no act is too small and every act has an infinitesimal ripple.”
“My self-care routine is part of my entire lifestyle. In the morning, I meditate, do EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) tapping, deep breathing exercises and do my morning meditation, mantras and prayers. I also run and go to the gym. During the day, I am very mindful of how I feel—am I anxious, rushing, stressed, or am I being present to life? I make sure my thoughts are kind, especially towards myself. At night, I sit in my meditation room, with tons of candles, incense, energy rocks, and intention cards, and spend time in quiet or with music. Going to bed, I have an essential oil diffuser, use oils on my skin and pillow, and take baths to soothe and calm my body for the night. I keep a soft light in my room, meditation music is on while I sleep and my bed is a haven.
“Every two weeks, I have what I call ‘Self-care Saturdays,’ where I see a therapist, get a massage, and then spend time in the water and turn in early, drinking up to 64 ounces of water. Years ago, I would not have wanted to invest in myself in this way, but I know that my life, my body, and my peace—and this moment—is all that I have. It is only when I care for myself that I can give to others and empower them to do the same. So self-care is my gift to me.”
Lisa Williams is a survivor and advocate for victims of sexual abuse and sex trafficking. In 1999, she founded Circle of Friends, an organization dedicated to educating, empowering, and supporting girls and women who have escaped abuse. Her work led L’Oréal Paris to honor her in 2010 and give her the Karen T. Fondu Impact Award in 2015.
“Offering kindness, obtaining knowledge, discovering and embracing kinship, and kindred spirits reinforce my desire to live a life that creates a legacy of beauty, grace, and service. One of the ways that I share my sense of empowerment is by creating sacred and safe spaces for women and girls to practice the art of listening and lean into learning how they, too, can create sacred spaces for the growth of others.”
“Answer only to your name, show up for yourself, be a truth-teller to yourself and others, live intentionally, and extend and receive grace.”
“I want to build a living legacy that lives beyond me and my reach, generating opportunities for women and girls to become leaders and force-multipliers of equality, justice, and the common good for their families, communities, and countries they call home.”
“I learned at seven years old that every person affects the well-being and health of a community. Child abuse negatively affects not only the immediate child in the family who is being abused, but every other child in that family. Those children’s perspectives are shaped, in part, by their early experiences with abuse and reflected within the communities they build. I believe in doing my part to create healthy, sustainable communities—to counteract injustices and inequities, such as health, social, and financial disparities that often leave children and families in low wealth communities merely surviving despair.”
What does being a Woman of Worth mean to you?
“In 2015, as I was about to receive the first-ever L’Oréal Paris Women of Worth Impact Award, the highest honor one can receive from the world's largest beauty brand, I was fully aware that I was the antithesis of the image one would conjure up when hearing the words L’Oréal Paris— short, round, baldish, often without makeup, African American. But I was there as a testimony of authenticity, beauty, conscious living, community, faith, and pure grit.
“When I began to speak about how L’Oréal Paris had played an integral role in helping my girls at Living Water find their worth, I was also speaking about me finding my own worth—my voice. Everything that happened to me at seven years old had set me on a path to live this moment, to stand before a room filled with some of the most powerful men and women in the world and speak my truth. This time, though, I would be believed, and my worth would be acknowledged.”
Simone Bernstein has always looked for ways to give back to her community, and at the age of 17, she founded a nonprofit, St. Louis Volunteen.com, with the mission to provide information and resources for youths who want to get involved and volunteer. She also co-founded VolunTEEN Nation, a national organization that helps individuals find volunteer opportunities, with her brother Jake.
“I am empowered when youth find new volunteer opportunities, and get peers engaged in their community.”
“In the next 15 years, I want to combine my interests in volunteerism, youth empowerment, and healthcare by working as a physician in a medical school to support wellness efforts.”
“My dad is in the US Navy, and encouraged me from a young age to get involved in the community. Even now, at age 62, he is on the USS Comfort, inspiring me to make a difference.”
“People can find volunteer opportunities on VolunTEENnation.org. We have volunteer postings for youth and families. Volunteering is a wonderful way to give back and learn more about the community that you live in.”
“I practice self-care through exercise after work. When I get home from the hospital, especially after high levels of stress, I return home to meditate and track my progress through the Snap Habit app, a wonderful way to track my progress and keep in touch with my peers.”
At age 13, Maria D’Angelo moved from Naples, Italy to Staten Island, New York with her family. As an immigrant child, she overcame many obstacles while adapting to a new life, and in 1993, she founded the Children’s Lifesaving Foundation, whose mission is to help children in shelters get the support they need. A year later, Maria also created the Adopt-A-Family program to help homeless families transition from shelters to a home.
Who is a Woman of Worth to you?
“My daughter, Francesca McCaffery! Francesca has been by my side for the past 25 years as the CFO of the Children’s Lifesaving Foundation. She has truly played a major role in the success of our work through the years. In addition, she has especially been a great mentor to all the young women in our Vita Network.”
“Listen to your gut—always! Listen when given good advice but, ultimately, always trust that little voice inside of you.”
“I saw a need 27 years ago, while I was volunteering at a shelter in South Central L.A. I saw children who had no access to any type of enrichment, outdoor, recreational, or otherwise. It truly broke my heart. I began by bringing children to get necessary physicals and minor surgeries, and, with the help of some great, instrumental friends, began organizing field trips to amusement parks and local attractions, and the Children's Lifesaving Foundation (CLF) was born!”
“Share your expertise—volunteer wherever you might needed. Be kind. Get involved if you are passionate about something, as a career, or a hobby-volunteer! If you have limited time, but really want to connect with the local community, amazing sites like Nextdoor.com allow you to find elderly neighbors who need help with errands or light yard work. You could offer to baby-sit for an overworked friend. Any way you can extend yourself is wonderful, and will be so appreciated.”
“I love going to the movies and watching Netflix! I try to walk every day, and have done yoga in the past to stay balanced. If I'm really taking care of myself, I am eating mostly vegetables, fruit, and light protein. But understand that it's hard to keep it all balanced. Have room for compassion for yourself—that is self-care, too!”
Somy Ali survived sexual abuse, rape, and domestic violence as a teenager. After a long journey of moving to the states and pursuing a career and education in film, she founded No More Tears in 2007, with a mission to rescue victims from domestic abuse and human trafficking. The nonprofit has since provided resources, legal counsel, and more to over 30,000 women, men, and children in need.
“A Woman of Worth to me is every single victim of domestic violence and human trafficking my organization has rescued and empowered. Given what each of them has endured, yet risen as courageous survivors, makes them all Women of Worth in my eyes.”
“As a survivor of child sexual abuse, rape in my teenage years, and domestic violence during my time in Bollywood, nothing is more empowering to me than rescuing and assisting victims of sexual and physical violence through my organization, No More Tears.”
“No matter what you have been through, and, in spite of realizing that you may never fully heal from it, you can still live a fulfilling life by helping others.”
“To continue saving more lives, finish my memoir, and work towards exposing the traffickers and the buyers. Exposing them would perhaps lessen the prevalence of human trafficking, the largest growing criminal enterprise in the world.”
“I was born in Pakistan, witnessing unfathomable atrocities towards women, children, and men. Realizing that these atrocities have no prejudices and are global made me initiate an organization which inevitably had me more involved in my community and its struggles.”
This WOW Honoree started making an impact at a young age—Rachel Renata Jackson founded Project Compassion, NFP at only 25. Since then, the organization has helped over 70,000 homeless and low-income individuals, providing resources and opportunities to learn life skills through workshops. She also has her own podcast, Brave Heart, aiming to inspire and motivate others.
“To open the Compassionate Transitional House for homeless mothers 19 to 25. It would be an 18-month program that would offer free housing for young mothers to develop skills and create a foundation of stability without worrying about housing.”
What made you want to get more involved in your community?
“The ability to understand that it could have been me homeless and in need. The grace I was given was not by chance, it was so I can do more, help others, and impact my community. I wanted my life to not just be about me, but my service and kindness to others. “
“Find a cause you are passionate about. Find a mission you can relate to and believe in. See what's available in your community and get involved. If you search and you can't find anything, start it yourself.”
“It means that I am an extraordinarily valued asset to my community. It means I've made an impact in this life that has created a respect and standard of excellence for others. I am a leader and I am a woman with a voice that is being heard and making a difference.”
How do you practice self-care?
“I pay attention to my mental and physical needs. I schedule time for myself and am intentional about resting. This woman loves a nap!”
At just 24 years old, Maria Rose Belding can say she's already made a difference. The 2015 WOW Honoree is an author, speaker, and co-founder of the MEANS database. The organization works to keep excess food from ending up in the trash, and instead get it into the hands of those who need it.
“Taking the stage as a speaker. In those moments, I am quite literally in control of my own narrative, from the spectacular highs of building MEANS and the traumatizing lows of experiencing abuse in my adolescence. I cannot undo what was done to me, but I can let every kid in the audience know that if this happened to them, too, it does not define them, it was not their fault, and they can go on to lead an extraordinary, impactful, happy life totally unrelated to those awful experiences.”
“Talk to myself the way I would talk to my younger sister. If I would not say it to her, I cannot say it to myself.”
“Stay in the fight for and with under-resourced communities. I will be starting medical school next fall, with the goal of becoming an emergency medicine (ER) physician. While I will eventually be leaving the life of running a charity behind, my goal is to never let go of the passion I have for communities facing injustice. The people MEANS feeds are the same ones who end up in ERs because they couldn’t afford both their prescriptions and groceries.
“Just as hunger is a moral outrage in a nation as wealthy as the US is, so is death by lack of insurance. There will always be doctors who want to care for patients who can afford any drug or treatment, who will never miss an appointment because public transit was delayed or broke down. I want to show up, and stay, for those whose challenges lie beyond their biology—and treat them with the same respect and compassion their wealthier neighbors have always enjoyed.”
“Being involved was the default in my family, even when we were little. My parents were always parking me at the food pantry or senior center or library, giving me the chance to check dates on cans and play checkers with an older adult or re-shelve library books. Doing your part for the broader community has always been part of my life, and that came into focus when I was in 8th grade and started to build MEANS.”
“Show up. Ask how you can help and offer your skills, whether that’s your professional degree or manual skilled labor. Nonprofits might need your help with bookkeeping or wall-painting or goodness knows what else. Find out who in your community is already doing good work, and go ask how you can assist.”
SuEllen Fried volunteered in Kansas correctional facilities for nearly 40 years. In 1982, she co-founded Reaching Out From Within, an organization centered around giving inmates a chance to understand how violence impacts them, and how to rehabilitate inmates to transition back into the real world through therapy and workshops. This commitment to helping individuals become better citizens earned her a spot as one of our 2015 honorees.
“A woman who identified a need, envisioned a possible solution, and gathered partners and collaborators to take action.”
What’s the best piece of advice a woman has ever given you?
“‘Anything is possible, the impossible just takes a little longer.’ - Donna Stone.”
What’s one goal you have for the next 15 years?
“Expand our highly effective, life-changing program for incarcerated men and women, Reaching Out From Within, to as many new states as possible.”
“I encourage others to get out of their comfort zone and experience the amazing process of making change and becoming changed.”
“I maintain my physical and mental health, I find inspiration in nature and other people, and when I miss the mark, I remind myself that I am doing the very best I can.”
Kathy Koenigsdorf lost her 21-year-old son, Jake, to a heroin overdose. Knowing her son wanted to make a difference and leave his mark, she founded the Jake Koenigsdorf Foundation in 2013. The foundation's aim is to provide help to those who are willing to do whatever it takes to overcome their drug or alcohol addiction but don’t have the financial support to do so.
“Spanx! Well, the humankind anyway. I am strong when I surround myself with people who want something for me, not from me. Support is key whether I am working alone or on a team.”
“I know the word ‘retire’ isn’t one I identify with; I will always be doing something.
To build the mission-centered JKF into an organization so that 30 years from now, people will say, ‘If it wasn’t for the JKF, 700,003 people may have given up, they changed my family forever.’”
“I cannot watch pain and suffering. My son went through terrible suffering in the few years he was addicted to opiates before he died at 21 years old. His pain was mine. I have always felt that if I saw something that needed to change, I had to be part of the change.”
“Look around—really look around. What would you like to see be different? Think about things that have affected you, your family, your friends; passion is the best motivator. If you cannot find an organization to help, create one. That is what I did. Volunteer the same way you would shop for a car, take ‘em for a test drive and definitively look under the hood.”
“Honestly? It scared me, a lot. I am forever grateful for the resulting growth for the JKF and my new found courage. Being a L’Oréal Women of Worth Honoree means it is time to change, to grow, and to glow.”
Nadya Okamoto has made quite the impact at only 21. The WOW Honoree paused her college career to focus on her title as Founder and Executive Director of PERIOD, an organization she started at just 16 to help make period products accessible to those in poverty and to end the pink tax once and for all. Since then, she has also written her own book and become Chief Brand Officer of JUV Consulting. Did we mention she’s only 21?
“Speaking, working out, taking down the tampon tax, and working with other PERIOD warriors to achieve menstrual equity all make me feel empowered!”
“It’s 2020, and yet, 30 US states still have a sales tax on period products because they are considered luxury items (unlike Rogaine and Viagra). Period-related pain is a leading cause of absenteeism amongst girls in school, and periods are the number one reason why girls miss school in developing countries. My goal is to take down the tampon tax in every state in the nation!”
“I founded PERIOD when I was 16 years old, as a junior in high school, after my family experienced living without a home of our own for several months. During this time, on my commute to school on the public bus, I had many conversations with homeless women in much worse living situations than I was in. I was inspired to learn more about menstrual inequity and period poverty after collecting an anthology of stories of their using toilet paper, socks, brown paper grocery bags, cardboard, and more to take care of something so natural.”
“They can join or start a PERIOD chapter at their school or in their community! We have over 600 registered chapters across the globe that strive to advance PERIOD’s mission of ending period poverty and period stigma, by creating action plans employing our three pillars of service, education, and advocacy. Chapters run educational workshops in their community to reshape the way people think, talk, and learn about periods. They also distribute menstrual products to people in need in their community and work on changing policy to advance menstrual equity on both the local and the state level.”
“I’m so honored and humbled to be a Women of Worth Honoree! Being a woman of worth means recognizing that my worth can come from the ability I have to make an impact on the world around me. Founding PERIOD has been an amazing experience and the most rewarding part is to see how hard our chapter members work and how passionate they are about the menstrual movement and taking action in their communities! I am inspired by them every single day!”
A survivor of underground human trafficking, Shandra Woworuntu’s bravery and perseverance is inspiring. After escaping, she founded Mentari—an organization named after the Indonesian word “sun”—to serve as a light and saving grace for survivors of human trafficking and domestic violence. Since then, she has been an advocate for the voiceless and was appointed as the founding member of the first U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking to the Presidential Integration Task Force by former President Barack Obama.
“A Woman of Worth to me is my grandmother. She raised and taught me about the value of humanity and kindness. She was an amazing woman who loved our community. With her passion and compassion, she created jobs for people in the villages and helped people to establish their business and supported them. My grandma opened our home for many gatherings—we used to cook a lot of food and feed our community on a certain day or religious celebration. Our home was always busy, many people came for help and advice and I learned that she was the big influence of our community.”
“I feel empowered knowing the organization I founded has a wonderful impact on survivors of human trafficking. Witnessing survivors’ reintegration process to be independent gave me strength and empowered me to face my own challenges. I also mentor and create a leadership platform for survivors who were passionate to join the advocacy to make positive changes on anti-human trafficking legislation.”
“Love your neighbor and sit with those who are part of the minority and marginalized. Listen to them to identify the problem and through your passion and compassion, you will be able to find the subject you’re that interested in making positive changes.”
“Being a Woman of Worth gave me more value to connect and partner with others to create better support and a platform to make a positive impact on my community through the DREAM—direct services, resources, empowerment, advocacy, and mentorship—so human trafficking survivors will be able to reintegrate back into society so they can live independently.”
“I practice self-care physically, having a routine with enough sleep and eating healthy food. Psychologically, I speak to my therapist, relax, and take care of my plants. Emotionally, I focus on self-love and remind myself that I am worthy. Personally, I will spend time in the park, kitchen to cook Indonesian food, listen to music, and have dinner with my family and friends. Professionally, I set boundaries with everyone.”
Laura Reiss is an artist, mother, and 2018 WOW Honoree. As founder of Kindness Matters 365, she continues to show that small acts can make a big difference. Back in 2007, she started the program, then known as Samaritans365, in an effort to inspire and give back, with a focus on educating students on the impact of kindness. Since then, the program has grown to have thousands of members and is slowly expanding toward making the world a better, kinder place.
“One of my goals for the next 15 years is to continue to inspire and educate as many (people) human beings as possible to be the best versions of themselves, and to teach them that they are valuable, important, and have a life’s purpose.”
“The original reason I wanted to get more involved in my community was for my three young children to be in a community where everyone was nice to each other. I was raised well—my parents gifted me with strong, kind values, I got lucky, and wanted to share and empower as many others as possible.”
“Being a Woman of Worth means I am part of an amazing, inspiring group of women who are making a profound and positive difference in the world.”
“I practice self-care all day long. I start first thing in the morning by waking up and thinking about my breath and how grateful I am for another day. I meditate, exercise, journal, use self-awareness, and self-regulation tools to take care of myself and communicate with the people in my life about our needs and wants. I also find gratitude, compassion, and kindness in everything that I do. I am grateful to be alive, grateful to serve, and grateful to be a Woman of Worth!”
Brittany Schiavone was diagnosed with Down syndrome when she was born, but her diagnosis hasn’t prevented her from helping others, which led to her to becoming a WOW in 2019. She founded Brittany’s Baskets of Hope in 2016, an organization dedicated to welcoming new babies with Down syndrome, and providing them with resources, love, hope, and the mindset that those with Down syndrome are capable of doing anything.
“My mom makes me feel empowered. She has pushed me to do whatever I want to do since I was a baby. She helps with my nonprofit by supporting me in everything I do and everywhere I need to go. She is always right there by my side.”
What was the best piece of advice a woman has ever given you?
“When I was just starting my first job, my former job coach, Debbie, told me to ‘bloom and grow.’ She meant for me to do my best every time and continue to learn and grow in my job and in life. I still follow her advice every day!”
What made you want to get involved in your community?
“I saw a video of people helping babies with Down syndrome on the internet and I knew I wanted to do that, too. I came home and told my parents all about it and with the help of my family and friends, Brittany’s Baskets of Hope was born! To date, we have sent baskets of hope to over 900 families with a baby with Down syndrome in all 50 states and Puerto Rico! The best part is when I get to visit our local families and talk to them face to face and hold the babies.”
How do you recommend others get involved in their communities?
“It all starts with an idea and something you are passionate about. I had the idea to help new babies with Down syndrome and I wasn’t afraid to bring it to people that could help me. I couldn’t do it on my own and everyone pitched in and helped me do the parts I couldn’t do, until it was up and running.”
“Being a Woman of Worth means that I get to spread my message of hope to new families all over the world that have had a baby with Down syndrome. I want to support new babies and let them know that their life will turn out to be wonderful, successful, and happy, just like mine. I always say, individuals with Down syndrome can do anything. Really, really anything!”
Next: Now's Your Chance to Nominate Amazing Women in Your Community for Women of Worth 2020
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