Everyone has a personal hero. A hero is a person, real or fictional, who in the face of danger, combats adversity through ingenuity, courage and strength. Whether it is someone from your childhood or a trailblazer that has been an inspiration in your professional career, heroes display courage and sacrifice for the benefit of the greater good. This week, we are sharing people who have inspired us to keep persevering!
“The true republic: men, their rights, and nothing more; women, their rights, and nothing less.” – Susan B. Anthony
When I was in elementary school, my class was tasked with choosing a historic figure to learn about and embody for a project titled, Living Statues. After conducting research, I decided to focus on Susan B. Anthony due to her passion and devotion to women’s rights. At that age, I did not fully grasp what her work entailed but thought it was awesome that she played a large part in the fact that I would be able to vote when I was older and that she was depicted on the silver dollar. I now understand and admire that she was not afraid of what anyone may think of her. She steadfastly stood up for what she knew was right and fought for civil rights.
“It may seem strange that a great advance in the world in industry, in controls of all kinds, should be made in time of war … War has taught us to make these vast strides forward towards a far more complete equalization of the parts to be played by men and women in society.” – Winston Churchill
Like most entrepreneurs, I don’t always color inside the lines. So, when my team asked me to share my national hero … my brain immediately responded with Winston Churchill. Sir Winston Churchill was courageous, he was brash and often witty and he didn’t just reach across the aisle, he reached ‘across the pond’ to forge an alliance that would save countless lives and put an end to WWII. He led when others couldn’t.
“I sing to the realists; people who accept it like it is.” -Aretha Franklin
It’s no surprise that my national hero comes from the music industry – my parents raised me and my brother on Motown, soul music and oldies. “Respect” by Aretha Franklin was heard daily at the Festa household or in my mom’s car as she drove me to dance class. Looking back, I thought it was just a song that had a great beat and catchy phrases. But in my adult years, I appreciate and admire Aretha Franklin for her contribution to not just the music industry, but society as one of the first trailblazing Black women to own the stage. Aretha is as bold and fearless as they get!
“The only tired I was, was tired of giving in.” – Rosa Parks
I’ve always admired Rosa Parks and her headstrong choice to resist bus segregation. She was willing to become a controversial figure to motivate others to take action. Rosa Parks was not only an inspiration for the Black community, but for women as well.
“Adventure is worthwhile in itself.” – Amelia Earhart
I attended an all-girls school for 8 years, and one of my favorite traditions was our Distinguished Women project, in which we dressed up as powerful female figures. Through this project, I learned more about Amelia Earhart and her courageous journey to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. I admire her determination, vision and an adventurous spirit!
“Nothing in life is worthwhile unless it’s kind of hard to get there.” – Carli Lloyd
Throughout my entire childhood and all the way through college, soccer has always been my biggest passion. Even though I had other interests, soccer was always what drove me and motivated me for the entirety of the 17 years playing the sport. Throughout this time, I looked up to many of the greats but there was no one who compared to the strength, perseverance and dedication of Carli Lloyd. While she did not play the same position as I did, I always looked up to her as a leader and a hard-working team player that I aspired to be like. Not only was her work ethic and determination true on a personal level, but she was also a role model for her teammates and all those who looked to her. The way she honestly and humbly carries herself is an inspiration to all young girls who play the sport. Now, even though I am sadly retired from my soccer career, many of those same ideals she demonstrates on hard work, determination and the willingness to do whatever it takes to achieve your goals rings true in every facet of mine.
“You can often choose your circumstances by changing your attitude.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
I admire Eleanor Roosevelt for being a pioneer to women in politics and beyond. During her time as a First Lady, she fought for gender equality by instituting regular White House press conferences for women correspondences. Additionally, she was the president’s eyes and ears throughout the nation, embarking on extensive tours and reporting to him on programs and public opinión. She is the definition of a “behind the scenes” woman!
“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” – Mother Theresa
Ever since learning her story in elementary school, Mother Teresa has been an inspiration to me. Her generosity and selflessness are qualities everyone should strive to attain. Mother Teresa helped show the world that material things are unimportant and unfilling. Instead, we should spend time caring for others and pursuing charitable efforts.
“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” – Henry Ford
In middle school, I remember completing a report on Henry Ford and his influence on America. To this day, I regard him as one of my favorite national heroes due to his numerous positive impacts on American history. His contribution to mass production shaped the business landscape forever and allowed abundant opportunities for American citizens. After finding success with the Model T, he admirably prioritized philanthropic work in his late years. Most importantly, his legacy of constantly persevering despite adverse circumstances is inspiring to all.