As we celebrate Mother's Day, some of the same women who’ve shared their "My Start Story" experiences take a moment to reveal the person who launched them on their incredible journeys – their moms!
Real moms share their inspirations and challenges:
As we put together our "My Start Story" series, we've watched many women point to their mothers for inspiring their careers – in more ways than you might think.
Some turned to their moms for support, like actor Yvonne Huff Lee, who credits her mom for helping her find her voice, and emergency room physician Dr. Pilar Ortega, who mentors the next generation in medicine, just as her mother encouraged her to pursue her education.
Others turn to their mothers for literal inspiration, as author Helen Zia did, when she wrote her latest book The Last Boat Out of China, the title prompted by a line her mother repeated many times throughout her childhood, detailing her family's escape from communist China in 1949.
Just as their mothers did for them, inspiring young women is a goal for many women featured in our "My Start Story" series. Moms like paramedic Michele Martinez pushed to train for the career she wanted while juggling duties as a single mom and now works to inspire other female paramedics. And CEO of Brave Enterprises Crista Samaras, who teaches teen girls every day, "Don't be fearless. Just be brave."
It takes that kind of courage to take on both a career and family, which is why becoming a mom meant the world to foreign correspondent Janine di Giovanni, who described how she made time for all her pursuits, including motherhood, as "a balancing act." Then, founder of the PR firm Biz3 Kathryn Frazier pursued a career that would allow her the flexibility she craved as a parent – before she even had kids.
Every mom has a story, which members of the Hamilton musical family Miguel and Kelly Cervantes know well. As special needs parents to daughter Adelaide, Kelly launched a blog and hosts a podcast to promote epilepsy research, and knows that by telling her story, she can help save lives. Kelly sums the giving spirit of moms everywhere by revealing how her daughter motivates her to go further with her work, "I can get out there, and I can do something, and in that way, I can help her."
Celebrate Mother's Day with "My Start Story." Find more stories here.