Finding Female Inspiration: Bonnie St. John, DC Cupcakes, and Outstanding Alumni

McKenzie_SheltonFeminism used to have many negative connotations that we as Americans are overcoming everyday. To me, a feminist is someone who stands up for equality.  I’ve been called a feminist before, and yes, I do stand up for women’s rights, but I like to think of myself as more of a “humanist.”  I stand up for everyone’s rights.

When I read about or encounter a woman who has paved her own road, she inspires me to be a woman who makes my life what I want it to be.  October 10th was the 10th Anniversary of the ECU Women’s Roundtable Event.  It was fantastic, including the induction of 10 incredible women of ECU (one of which was our new Dean, Dr. Marianna Walker!), a keynote address by the sisters who run Georgetown Cupcakes and star in TLC’s DC Cupcakes, an alumni panel, and a luncheon speech by Paralympic gold medalist Bonnie St. John.  These women spoke respectively on the trials and joys of entrepreneurship and running their own business, the road they traveled to be the sensational women that they are now, and the challenges and lessons of growing up with a prosthetic leg.

These women were glorious, seeming to carry an aura about them that exuded intelligence, graciousness, and a subtle, yet fierce, determination to succeed.  They seemed to genuinely care about all of our futures—all 500 of the guests at the event—and made me personally feel like I could overcome all of the leadership struggles I’ve been facing recently.  I’ve been having a hard time prioritizing, finding inspiration to complete tasks with passion, and be a healthy (mind, body, and soul) human being!  However, listening to these successful women has really empowered me.  Kay Chalk paid the $100 fee for nearly fifty female students in the Honors College to attend the Women’s Roundtable.  I know that they have been equally as inspired as I feel!  Thanks once again, Honors College and most excellent and esteemed donors.  We love you!

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