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Inspiration From My Family

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My grandmother “Nana” is turning 90 this year. That is a huge accomplishment! As I reflect on her life, I realize just how important she is to who I became.

My grandmother faced multiple personal challenges in her early life. Her father was murder in a case of mistaken identity, her older sister died of cholera, and her step-father, whom she loved deeply, passed away after only a few short years of being in her life.

Being raised by a single mother with limited education meant that she was poor. Not the poor we know of today, but truly poor. Nana resolved not to raise her children in the same condition, so she focused on school with the goal of getting her diploma.

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Once she accomplished that, she did not stop. She went to vocational school to get a certification as a hairdresser. During that time, she met my grandfather. My grandfather was an entrepreneur himself, so he supported my grandmother in opening her own salon. It was very rare during this time for women to own their own business, but this did not stop Nana.

Not only did she have her own booth, but she rented a second booth at a rate that barely covered the expenses. She empowered other women to take charge of their lives and earn their own money. How inspiring!!!

Nana was a trailblazer.

As we celebrate her birthday, I am in awe of her life and her accomplishments. She is a pillar of the community who often puts others first before herself. She raised two strong women who raised their children to carry that strength into the next generation.

I’m proud to be her granddaughter. Thank you Nana, I love you!

Written by Heather

Heather

Heather graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a BSEE. Later, she received her MBA. As a mother of four wonderful children, she has found a way to balance her career with her role as Mom. After becoming director of engineering for a global engineering firm, she decided to start her own company. She is CEO of Select Power Systems.

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