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Heather A

Written by Heather A.
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There are two things specifically that have empowered me throughout life and allowed me to really use that empowerment in a particular situation that will forever replay in my mind.

United Airlines (my employer of 28 years). I started when I was 19. United has given me so many opportunities as I developed as a young woman and grew to what I am today. I was provided opportunities to learn from different cultures in different countries. I was given leadership opportunities that allowed me to grow in my career and become a well-respected manager.
My sons - Brad & Eric. They taught me how to be a mother. They loved me in spite of my mistakes. They hung in there through some very difficult times. With a 5 year difference in age, they remained close to this day. They learned the value in education and really have grown into two wonderful young men I'm so proud of. They are my pride and joy.
Skills learned in both cases came to play in July of 2013 when Asiana had a horrible accident in San Francisco. As a member of United's Emergency Response team, I flew there and stayed for a week. I was assigned to two families of young teenage girls that sustained horrible injuries. Sadly, one of the girls did not make it. That week, I was very grateful for the opportunities I previously had with various Asian cultures. It allowed me to know what I should and more importantly, should not do. There was a language barrier between us, however, my experiences as a mother allowed me to connect with those mothers even though we could not speak the same language. We connected through pictures of our children, hugs, tears, and even prayers.

Those skills that allowed me to make it through a very trying week only made me stronger. I didn't know how strong it made me until I had to go through the death of my own brother and watch my parents grieve while trying to grieve myself. It was my turn to take care of them. While I was not feeling very empowered at the time, they referred to me as their rock.

Women given opportunities can really accomplish so much more than one can imagine. It goes beyond "work skills" - it is leadership in every sense. A true empowered woman will take those valuable lessons and use them to bless others. In my heart, empowerment is about believing yourself and lifting others so they feel empowered as well!
Read 1059 times Last modified on Thursday, 10 January 2019 15:47
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