Wednesday, September 30, 2009

2009 Phenomenal Women writer shares experience

Dominica Jaramillo

High crime, low-income, questionable schools… so many people have so many things to say about Racine. Some things may be true, and some things may be false; some things may even be a matter of opinion. But, what I have learned from speaking with the 2009 phenomenal women is this: for every need, there is a heart.

What does that mean? It means that, based on our backgrounds and our own personal experiences, we harbor a desire for certain things. Those things are where our heart is. These women have bared all in an effort to show you, Racine, that their heart is for you. From aiding and empowering our youth, to providing much needed resources for entire families, to reducing crime and keeping kids off the street, these women yearn for you. It is through their smaller efforts that larger change is realized. Believe me, to hear what these women do was an eye-opener indeed!

Initially, I wondered how these women were able to dedicate so much of themselves to others. In some ways, for the busy American, time for others seems out of the question; yet, eight women have made it a point to meet someone else’s need. How phenomenal! Learning from experiences, seeing a need, uncovering opportunity for change…my God, just when we thought all hope was gone! It’s amazing! Ultimately, what I’ve come to realize is this, it’s simply a matter of following your heart.

The hearts revealed through these women have shown me that Racine is more than the bad things we read in the daily newspaper. We aren’t the ‘arm pit’ of the state. We are a place full of potential, full of possibilities, full of hope! Perhaps not everyone will look at it in that aspect; before speaking to these women, I certainly didn’t. But, my perception has been altered. How can I write off Racine when there are so many working backstage to renew and rejuvenate this city? Just verbal exposure to these women seemed to radiate waves of hope. This city if full of children, young adults, struggling families and the like…after an encounter with eight phenomenal women, I now know that there’s a means to an end for them. We are not alone Racine. We have not been given up on. The hearts of these women beat hard with passion for us. And it’s not just them! Zeal for our city runs through the veins of many who see more than increasing violence and youth deterioration.

I hope this 2009 phenomenal women edition reminds Racine of how special it is. How every person, young and old, matters to someone. How there’s always someone in your corner, reaching out a helping hand to make sure you make it. We are a small city, but we’re full of big hearts. I also encourage the city to take part, in a collaborative effort, to bring about much needed change. Try volunteering!

We’re worth so much more than we know, but who would know that unless someone else tells them? Let’s let it be known!

Enjoy meeting your 2009 Phenomenal Women in the Insider News October 9th edition. It is because of them, and those like them, that we have hope.

Most Sincerely,

Dominica Jaramillo

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