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Since newly entering the blogosphere and connecting with other female professionals, activists, and bloggers, I have been in awe of the remarkable accomplishments, changes, and movements women have been a part of or helped catalyze.  In fact, one of the reasons I pushed myself to further my involvement in the blogosphere (specifically in terms of female professionalism, empowerment, feminism, and social justice) is because I wanted to sustain those connections, make more of them, and learn more.  In addition to being an active blogger, I joined two women’s rights-focused organizations upon moving down south and have been active in their advocacy efforts.  It seems natural for me to have found a niche in female empowerment, professionalism, and women’s advocacy work since many of my passions are encompassing of that.

I'm Not Bossy. I Am The Boss. Mug

Through the online and in-person connections I’ve made with female activists, community members, professionals, and leaders, I am inspired to set high goals for myself, achieve more, and make a mark in small and big ways.  The support and motivation I have experienced from my fellow advocates, young professionals, and bloggers has given me the extra boost of confidence I needed to keep moving forward and fulfill my aspirations - no matter how giant and overwhelming those aspirations may be.  Having these big dreams and goals helps me find the meanings and purposes of the world and I vow to not lose sight of that.  The trailblazing women I’ve met, connected to, or look up to inspire me (and I’m sure other women as well) to continue moving up my ladder and rise above the hurdles that may disrupt my path (especially those constructed and perpetuated by society).  These trailblazing women have also taught me something about myself: I want to be a trailblazing woman too.  And I’m unafraid to admit it and strive for it.

These trailblazing women have also taught me something about myself: I want to be a trailblazing woman too.

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One of the reasons I joined my college’s professional and philanthropic sorority and eventually became Vice President and then President was because I found it incredibly empowering and encouraging to work, lead, and volunteer alongside women who were passionate, driven, professionally-focused, and valued female progress and gender equality.  The opportunity to be in an organization with forty strong young women who were dedicated to such empowering values was transformational.  I owe a lot of my passion for feminism, social justice, and equal professional representation to my sorority sisters and the lessons they taught me.  I looked up to previous presidents and knew I wanted to serve the sorority in that way as well.  And so I did.  Being President of my sorority gave me the tools, skills, and the hunger to continue leading and collaborating to pave cooperative, empowering, and productive pathways for others.  It felt like an organic next step to try and seek something similar after college and in my new state of residence.

Because of the greatly institutionalized and deeply-embedded disempowerment and disenfranchisement that women experience in our society, having the opportunity to be a part of a supportive and motivating force of women and feminist advocates is truly powerful.  It has been a privilege to be involved in and connect with organizations, bloggers, activists, and female professionals who share similar struggles, insights, and experiences. From my sorority sisters, to my fellow AAUW members, to the activists I’ve connected with via the blogosphere, to the women who came before me - thank you for reminding me of my great potential as a woman.  Thank you for your realness and helping me see how beautiful my realness is too. Thank you for setting an example and showing me that being a trailblazing woman is not an unattainable or foolish dream.  And thank you for encouraging my fearlessness in admitting my leadership capabilities, inner-strength, and self-worth.  Thank you for laying the foundation and building the ladder for more opportunities for all women.

I’m not going to apologize for my ambitions and I don’t think they sound presumptuous or arrogant.

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I’m not going to apologize for my ambitions and I don’t think they sound presumptuous or arrogant. We need more women in leadership positions and too often society tells us that we’re not capable of achieving those positions of influence.  Or, once we do assert ourselves in those positions we’re entangled in double standards, stereotypes, and projected and incorrect labels of bitchiness and bossiness.  I applaud and mightily admire the women who stand up to that, advocate for themselves and other women, and valiantly effect change.  We can all be trailblazing women, everyday.  And in so many ways, we already are.  Be brave, be bold, and remember how strong you are.  You never know who wants to follow your trailblazing efforts.

Thank you to the women whose trailblazing I want to follow - and thank you for helping me realize my own strength and capability to pave my own trailblazing path as well. 

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