Letters to Our Daughters: Independence and Intelligence--a Power Combination
My name is Michelle’ Sturgis, a wife, mother, aunt, sister, Professor, Role Model, and aspiring author and entrepreneur. These are just a few roles that I hold dear to my heart, “MOTHER”, being number one. If you are wondering why I chose “Mother”, is because when I took on this role, I became responsible for guiding several little person’s lives to assist them in being a productive citizen in our society. Knowing that YOU are responsible is like caring the weight of the world on your shoulders.
As I think about many advice topics that I would like to share with you to assist you along this journey called “life”, several tips really stands out with me that were often relayed to me by my mother. The reason why they fully stand out now that I am an adult versus in my teen years, is that she unbeknownst to me she was preparing me for adulthood. Instilling those values and recognizing the power they hold would one day come full circle of what my mother was trying to teach me about my place in the world. What I didn’t know was that being a smart female would one day be an issue for some.
Growing up I always knew that I was a smart child, loved education, school getting excited about the lesson my teacher would share, and seeing my friends. In school, Chemistry, Business, computers, and Math were my favorite subjects. I always loved an academic challenge. I can remember being in high school Chemistry class, coming home telling my mother what I had learned with excitement that I knew the periodic table, understood what I was doing just as well as the guys. She would say “that is wonderful”, but I told her not everyone was as excited as I was by the expressions on their faces if my grade was better.
That was my first encounter with the underlying experience of what I call “dimming your light, so that others can shine”. Another, being in computer programming class in college, being asked “how is it that YOU understand this?” Being in several male dominated jobs, hired, but having to teach yourself, excelling, and overcoming all odds because of others insecurities. Overhearing some that you admired, yet wanting to see you fail, stating and wondering “how did she get her tasks accomplished?”, “Even though I placed stumbling blocks in her way, why is she getting promoted?” Those were the most hurtful because of the admiration and respect piece of the puzzle.
See girls, when those things happened, I didn’t lie down and sulk in my current situation. I always referred to my mother’s advice and tips that have prepared me for life and adulthood. Included are the following that I want to share with you:
Be confident - never allow someone else to dim your light in order for them to shine.
As a female be good, but be twice as good you are going to need that extra armor to cope with the stones that may be thrown at you.
Be an independent responsible girl – know your self- worth.
Have your own things, example car, job, and bank account. A woman without her own things is susceptible to her light being continuously dimmed.
Get your degree that piece of paper is worth more than gold. No one can take this away from you.
Money is power - Always save for a rainy day and have a budget no matter what your salary entails.
Be an articulate girl so that others can see you. Find your own voice.
ALWAYS put God first in life, everything else will fall into place.
Last, a tip from my Father. When you go into your meetings, be prepared. Don’t be whiny, as you will lose all respect. Know your job and articulate it well--that’s respect. Admiration or envy will follow. I asked, “how will I know?” He said “just look at their eyes."
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ABOUT Letters to our Daughters
Letters to Our Daughters is a B2F Girls! campaign that aspires to empower girls with the courage to overcome obstacles and follow their dreams as they learn from women who have overcome many challenges and have positioned themselves to live a fierce life. We hope that the stories will be healing and empowering for both the writer and the reader.
ABOUT B2F Girls!
B2F Girls! is on a mission to equip girls nationally with healthy self-esteem so that they can be the best version of themselves. When this happens, everyone benefits. B2F Girls! offers a robust certification program and training intensive, complete with resources, implementation guides and support for women who have a calling to mentor girls. We also produce national female empowerment events.
B2F Girls! initially started as an organization called Tween Style Power that offered free local workshops for girls ages 10-17 that addressed the areas of self-worth, body image and leadership. After our first successful year of implementation, we began to notice we were receiving an influx of women from various parts of the country asking how they could implement a similar program for the girls in their communities. It was then that we recognized a gap that required a systematic and accessible way of providing the training we were already offering. This made way for the launch of B2F Girls!