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Grandmas, Friends, Wives and Mothers: A Tribute to Important Women in Our Lives

By Opportunity International

Young Ambassadors (YAO) members and Opportunity International staff weigh in on the important women in their lives and what they mean to them:

Kristen Doyle with her Grandma on her wedding day in January 2009.My Grandma is one of my soulmates. Her heart has always understood mine and I have always understood hers. Ever since I was a child we have been able to talk for hours about life, relationships, and most importantly our Heavenly Father. My Grandma has taught me what it looks like to live a Godly life, where all your trust and faith rests in God’s promises. She has taught me that prayer is powerful, especially when your faith is unshakable. She has always persevered in her relationship with the Lord in a way that I have not seen many others succeed at. She is selfless, loving, joyful, prayerful, and beautiful. I know the Lord is preparing a special place for her when she goes to be with Him. I hope that one day I can have even half of the faith that she has. Scripture is always on her tongue, revealing how passionate her heart and mind are about serving God and listening to His purpose for our lives. The joke in our family is that if Grandma is praying for it, the angels are listening!! I am truly blessed to have her in my life and to be able to call her one of my best friends.

-Kristen Doyle, YAO – Chicago

Nicole Mohovich and Lindsay at Lindsay's August 2010 wedding.A little over 10 years ago, I met one of the most fun, loyal, and generous women. My best friend Lindsay and I met at that transition in life between college and starting your professional career, and we’ve weathered many personal and professionals challenges together ever since. An incredible cook, business woman and a great listener, Lindsay has taught me to always have fun with life. She has grown into an incredible mother to her niece and two nephews, taking them into her home. I admire her selflessness, dedication and the family she and her husband have created, to give these children the wonderful life they deserve. I am proud and blessed to call her my friend and I look forward to the many adventures life has in store for us.

-Nicole Mohovich, Opportunity International Major Events Manager & YAO Member

Dan Zarlenga and his wife Jillian.My wife made me robot slippers. Yep, that’s right… robot slippers. Out of the many yards of fabric she had at her disposal, she intuitively chose the exact pattern that would put a smile on my face. Come to think of it, Jillian’s always been great with gifts. Like last Christmas when she gave me a samurai sword umbrella (yes, it’s as fantastic as it sounds). And who can forget that insanely cool hippo pen holder? But it’s not that Jillian simply knows what stupid stuff I enjoy, she also knows me. When you can say someone “knows you,” it’s a very comforting thought. When I’m happy, she knows how to share in my joy; when I’m excited, she knows how to ride that wave with me; when I’m sad, she knows how to provide comfort; and when I forget to take out the garbage, she knows how to be forgiving (usually). I am truly blessed to have someone in my life that cares so much about knowing who I am and who I want to be.

-Dan Zarlenga, Opportunity International Prospect Researcher

Emily Riemer and her mom Melissa.My mom has taught me a lot about going after my dreams and being true to myself, even when it goes against the grain. When I was a high school freshman, and my friends’ moms were working out of an office or caught up in suburban life, my forty-something mother launched a professional acting career, starting from scratch taking classes, getting headshots, and steeling herself against countless auditions. We lived in the U.K. for several years, and just as she was getting herself established there, we picked up and moved back to Chicago and she had to start all over. She has now been working steadily for more than 15 years, and has been in many great, even award-winning, productions, has traveled on tour, and belongs to a well-respected local theater company. Acting is brutal–actors go on countless auditions in the course of a career and naturally they cannot get them all–but my mother is made of sterner stuff; when she doesn’t get cast in a show she simply picks herself up and submits her resume for the next one. At a time when my friends’ parents were caught up in suburban life, my mom stepped out and blazed her own trail. She’s not afraid to be honest and true to herself. I’m working hard to be just like her!

-Emily Riemer, Opportunity International Marketing Media Writer

Opportunity International is offering you a way to celebrate the women in your life. Create a tribute patch on the Global Opportunity Quilt at opportunity.org/honormom and make a gift that impacts the lives of women in poverty around the world.

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