My Minerva Moment

 



HONORING THE MINERVA AWARDS®

Since 2004, The Women’s Conference has honored extraordinary women with the annual Minerva Awards. These Remarkable Women & Remarkable Legacies have recognized a problem, identified the solution, and pursued it with strength, courage, perseverance and compassion.

Each one of us has experienced that moment when we first realized that we have the ability to make a difference and transform the life of someone we love, someone less fortunate or someone in need. That's your Minerva Moment!

So tell us –

When did you realize for the first time that you could make a difference? What was your Minerva Moment?  

Share your story in 200 words or less in the comments section below.

 

My Minerva Moment
  • When I attended my first Women's Conference last year I realized that I could make a difference in people's lives everyday and you never knew when you would really be making a difference. We began having meals and shelter for the homeless at my church and I really enjoy working behind the scenes providing food for people that are struggling. This summer we're planning to provide games and outdoor activities too. I hope that I can touch at least one life and help them to make it through one more day and look forward to the next day. I also started talking to the homeless that ask me for money instead of brushing them off, getting their names, what do they need, and introducing myself. I try to help with what money that I can and offer encouragement too. I've recieved so many hugs in return. What I've found is that each one of us can make a difference. And the amazing part is that by helping others, we help ourselves and feel better as well.

    Posted by Cheri , 6 May 2010.

  • When I watched my daughter’s 3rd grade teacher handcuffed & taken to prison for molesting his 2nd & 3rd grade students I knew I truly made a difference by persevering through broken systems until her molester was behind bars. My daughter was his last victim but the 1st victim to come forward in a min. of 7 yrs that we know of that he did this to numerous children. Because she was the 1st victim and no physical evidence it wasn’t going to trial. Many people didn’t believe us and even tried to shame us. It took me 2-1/2 years of contacting everyone possible, getting the media involved, fighting with the school, writing the teaching credential board, calling parents, lawyers, teachers, CPS, police. There are many victims whose parents refused to come forward & report it at all even though it would have given him more prison time. I taught my daughter at a very young age right from wrong & to speak up and she did the very 1st time he touched her vs. the other children didn’t know better and let it go on for years. I’m not done, I’m fighting for tougher laws with Assemblyman Fletcher and Chelsea’s Law.

    Posted by Willamarie, 6 May 2010.

  • My Minerva Moment, walking through Union Square 3 days after 9/11. We live in Ohio, but, drove to New York to be with our daughter whose finance was in the first tower to be hit. He had just started his job 3 weeks prior, ironic he quit a job because the company didn't like married people working together and now they would never be together. Walking through the park was like walking through a movie, a horror movie. People desperately pleading for to help find their loved ones shoving photos in your face. I was beyond sad beyond furious that people had attacked my home and murdered all these people. My heart hurt and I was helpless. What words could one say to their child and to her fiance's parents to comfort them - none. It was in this moment that I realized all it takes is one moment to change your life. Here and gone. I had always volunteered for a Child Abuse Prevention Program, I had come to believe in the Healing Arts now I needed to become involved in the Art of Healing. I became a Life Coach, Reflexologist and have studied Reiki. I hope one day to have a program in place that helps women empower themselves and a research program that studies the impact of touch and how it can help children with autism. When things are not working out I just remember it is only a moment. We can't change yesterday, we don't know what tomorrow will bring or if it will even come, we do have this moment, live it !!!

    Posted by yaluta, 6 May 2010.

  • When a very special family friend, Trent Bowie SGT in the Marines, came to our house on leave from Iraq we spent hours talking about all that he and his buddies were going thru in Iraq and the struggles that many of them were having when they came home injured. When someone you love is at war you pray everyday for their safe return. I not only prayed, I made bargains with God for Trent's safe return. My bargain was that I would find a way to give back to the men and women that put their lives on the line for our country. While watching a news program about the struggles that returning Wounded Warriors were having once they were well enough to go home. Many of our Wounded Veterans are from rural areas and do not have access to the physical therapy equipment that they need. They often relapse and have to return to the hospital. And many more of them begin to suffer from depression due to feelings of isolation. Then came my Minerva Moment!! With the help of my brother-in-law we developed a line of interactive physical therapy equipment that can be pedaled with the arms or the legs. Wounded Veterans can plug our bikes into a USB port of a computer and the pedal motion of the bike moves the character/vehicle in on-line video games and virtual reality worlds. Wounded Veterans are able to go on-line and play games with and against the other Wounded Veterans that they went thru physical therapy in the hospital with no matter how far apart they may live with each other. If their computers have voice capability they can talk to each other while they work out. The software that comes with the bikes allows them to log all the details of each of their workouts for their medical staff to review. My company TherapyTrainer is making and difference! I have never done anything so rewarding in my life!

    Posted by Lisa_hd, 6 May 2010.

  • My minerva moment was a number of years ago when I was recently sober, recovering from drug addiction and returning to school with 4 young children and was asked to mentor young, unwed pregnant teens in Long Beach, CA. At the time I asked myself how a "broken", worn-out, former drug addict could ever be a mentor to someone that needed hope & resources for herself and an unborn child. I was told by the organization's leader that my story counted and could show others that life's obstacles could be overcome no matter what was thrown at you and that I was the perfect example to show that by participating in the mentoring program for 3 years.

    Posted by sherih123, 6 May 2010.

  • I have felt the ability to help influence a situation at a very young age. I think the hardest part is when one tries very hard to make a change and nothing happens in our given time or gets burned. Picking oneself up over and over to continue with the flame; realizing that change may not happen in the time WE want, but it will still happen. Just keeping one's head up and knowing things can get better can be painful and bitter process sometimes, but it always ends with a greater truth that assists one for each new opportunity.

    Posted by FUNDAMENTAL, 6 May 2010.

  • A moment when i realized i could help change another peron's life was with a girl in elementaryschool...she was radically different than any other girl in that grade, or school for that matter, and you know how cruel kids can be to one another when it comes to conformism and being like everyone else..well, I saw this abnormally tall and obese girl and walked up to her and extended my hand, telling her that my family had just moved to that area and i knew nobody and would like to get to know her...She was alarmed that i would want to be associated with her! She said" you don't want to know me because i am known as the Cudie (sp?) girl " like that means " the germinator" and no one wants to be with me.. she said. I felt like crying and told her that i knew her situation because I was treated very badly in my old school, where i was the only Jewish kid...she laughed because her dad was Jewish and she knew how people could be so stupid with prejudices....to make this short story long...we became the best of friends, surviving the ridicule and torture of the elementary school years, graduating to the same highschool and then separating afterwards, when I went to study social work in Israel and she went to study, on her own merits, receiving grants, to become a maternity nurse/midwife. Her mother had died of liver failure from acute alcoholism when she was 17...and mine, of PD at around the same age. We stayed in close touch for the next 40 years.I have this year moved back to the states from Israel and met up with my dearest friend. Today, I know that my extending my hand in friendship to her was not only a life -chainging moment for her but moreso for me. I love her like my own sister ( I never had).

    Posted by shanka, 6 May 2010.

  • My Minerva moment came when I started working in the school board being a sub teachers aid. Having the joy of working in different schools in my county i noticed that the kids that needed the most help was right in front of my face. It was at my own kids school. So I decided to start making a difference, even if its a small one its a start. I got with the principle and asked her if I could start donating clothes to the school for the children. As i started donating clothes i found out that there was parents that needed clothes to wear as well. Some of them didn't have winter clothes or winter coats. I started gathering clothes, coats, shoes and what ever else that could be used and started giving them to the local school. Now I have some help from family and some wonderful friends in a neighbor city that gives as well. We are starting small, but baby steps lead to giant leaps when you get going.

    Posted by making a difference, 6 May 2010.

  • My Minerva moment came the year my oldest son, Michael entered Kindergarten. I volunteered to work in his class once a week. I helped the kids with math, reading, writing, and worked on special projects for the Teacher. There was one boy, named Freddie whom I will never forget. He had a tough home life, and was constantly struggling to keep up with the rest of the class. I worked with Freddie almost weekly and during that time, he would share what his home life was like with me. While working with him, I listened to everything he has to say. Sometimes after our conversations, I couldn't sleep at night. However, I made it a point to acknowledge him, whether I saw him on the playground or in the classroom. I was leaving the class one day and Freddie grabbed me by the waist and gave me a huge hug. . I will never forget the huge smile on his face. I knew right then that I was making a difference in his young life. He realized that I really did care about him and I wanted him to succeed. I've continued to volunteer in and out of the classroom the past seven years, and have encountered many "Freddies" along the way. I've realized that a little goes a long way. Sometimes it only takes a smile, an encouraging word, or little bit of your time to make a huge difference in a child's life.

    Thank you for letting me share.

    Posted by LorettaK, 6 May 2010.

  • Everyday I wake up, start a new day -- there are Minerva moments all day long. Chatting with a senior neighbor, letting someone have the space to merge in front of you, holding a door for someone, smiling at a frustrated mom ... I have Minerva moments all day, everyday. At the end of the day, I can wonder if something I did had a positive effect on someone else...I will never know but it is nice to think about.

    Posted by Lookieloulou, 6 May 2010.