My Minerva Moment



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
  • Just recently I began reconnecting with former high school classmates through Facebook. Most of us are turning 50 this year and we graduated over 30 years ago so I think this is why we are searching each other out. (major life milestone - midlife crisis)
    One of my classmates shared his thoughts with me and it was a "Minerva Moment" for me from one of the last places I would have expected it.
    He started off by saying that high school was not a very happy time for him as he was not "popular", he had acne and in general (as he termed it) he was a "nerd". He then said that even though I was popular and outgoing (honestly he said that not me) I was one of the few people in school who took the time to really "See" him. He related that I always said hello, offered a smile or just took a minute to stop and ask about his day. Then when I would meet up with him again he noted that I would refer to a previous conversation or remember something he had shared with me. To this day he says I helped him make it through the difficult high school years by taking time to validate him as a person.
    I NEVER knew that I had this affect on him (or anyone for that matter) but I was deeply touched by this conversation and so thankful that he shared it with me.
    I have to say I learned this from my Mother as she always says - "Be kind to others and treat them as you would want to be treated" - Simple golden rule.
    My Mother certainly practices what she preaches and she provided me with an excellent role model . Thanks Mom and thanks classmate for giving me my very own Minerva Moment.

    Posted by Lynn, 4 May 2010.

  • So, I've been a psychotherapist for over 25 years, predominantly treating women. With an undergrad in Elementary Education (I often taught my young students using flashcards), I decided to experiment, bringing a visual element into my therapy work. One by one I created a series of flashcards for my clients - of all ages- to learn important life skills. It was a novel technique and my clients benefited tremendously; I continued creating new flashcards year after year! In 2007, I shared them for the first time at a professional conference. My colleagues were intrigued and asked how they might get access to my cards to use with their female clients and their families. At that exact instant, I had a Minerva (my mother-in-law’s middle name) moment; I realized that all of the years of creating over 150 cards had taken me to that moment and I was meant to share them with other professionals. I self published my first set of In Vision Concept Cards in late December of 2009; a longer and much more difficult journey than I had anticipated, I’m on my way, with more sets to come and loving my sense of purpose and helping others!

    Posted by Suzanne Ricklin, 4 May 2010.

  • I come to United States when I am 17 year old, just finish my high school. As an International Student, I have lots of time on my side after school and organization (since I am not allowed to work) so, I volunteer in an elderly home, youth programs, etc.
    It is come naturally for me to help other and trying to do what's good for other - however, it's not until few of my friends/ relatives mentioned that I have become inspirations among my friends on how I can balance my live (as a mother of two young children), career (I have my own business with few employees) and still manage to volunteer in many organizations and non profits.

    I never realize how much I have changed since I come to United State 19 years ago, how much opportunity and encouragement I can share with people that I encounter with.
    It give me motivation and courage to do more each day, not only I can set a good example for my children (sometimes I involve my children in the community events), but also create a better community and strive to do the best with what I have everyday - every minutes.

    Currently, I have a project to create an organization where I can help young children realize their true potential and grow. I learn that you can dream and do what you want to do, no matter what's your background and circumstances - sky is the limit, as long as you committed and never ever give up.

    I know I still don't speak perfect English - even until now, I have my flaws - but that's make life more interesting and realistic. Even a regular, not perfect people like me can be use to do something great. One step at the time...

    Posted by jwibowo, 4 May 2010.

  • My mom always made it a point to follow the latest news on what was happening politically in our country USA. She used to tell me that she wished that she could vote to be able to make a difference and be counted like all other Americans. I challenged her to study with me on weekends. We reverted to old fashion flash cards and practied Q & A's for well over 2-3 years, her english was not perfect, but her enthusiasm is what kept me committed to helping her prepared her to take her exam to become an American Citizen. She passed her exam at 70 yrs old, and took the oath in Downtown Los Angeles, it made me cry just to watch her from a distance. She is now 85 and has Alheimers, and voteing is something that she still is able to do. She never misses an opportunity to vote and collects all of the I VOTED stickers which she proudily displays by my dads pictures who is now deceased. Voting is a priveledge that my mom enbraces and my gift to her was to give her a wish that I know if my dad were around he would have joined her in it as well.

    Posted by Suzy Q, 4 May 2010.

  • My Minerva moment came when I realized how much Betty White was doing on animal welfare issues and the importance of making a difference. I've always enjoyed Betty White's acting abilities--she was terrific on The Golden Girls and has always been so witty and entertaining on talk shows. When I found out about the countless hours she devotes to animal welfare, I was even more impressed. Like Bob Barker, she works tirelessly to promote spaying and neutering to reduce the number of unwanted pets, donates to animal shelters and speaks out against the cruelties in the fur trade. There are many Hollywood celebs involved in animal welfare issues, but her interest goes back many years--decades even--and she is truly an inspiration to me.

    Posted by mary kennedy, 4 May 2010.

  • Theater has always been my passion. I have been drawn to works that not only entertain but inspire to do and be better. When I was in college, returning after the birth of my son and daughter, I did a series of plays that were deeply moving and profound. I had a great friend from church(Connie) who came and supported all my efforts. After graduation, cast in my first non-college production, my friend Connie met with me after the show and shared with me that my work(s) had deeply and profoundly strengthened her spirituality. I was so proud to hear that my "silly" little plays could actually inspire, and I carry that with me always. I have since gone on to write and create my own work, "Ask Mama". an inspirational comedy that continues to entertain as well as enliven the human spirit.

    Posted by JoAnn B, 4 May 2010.

  • I took out a second mortgage to pay for a young boy from Zimbabwe Africa's facial reconstructive surgery after a land mine destroyed his face....and still have faith we'll raise the money to pay the hospital bill..

    Posted by truben, 4 May 2010.

  • My Minerva moment is when I see a new counselor who I have been supervising feel that moment when they truly feel like they have made a difference in the lives of a family. You can't buy that kind of experience.
    I have been training counselors for over 23 years and they come in all shapes and sizes and all cultures; men and women, second career and right out of college. It doesn't matter; what matters is that they are there for families in crisis and see the result of their listening, reframing, caring, helping to organize the client's thinking, empower the men and women who see us and generally help change attitudes so kids don't have to be scared by their parents' fighting. This is the best profession I have chosen, beside my first and most important profession of motherhood. My five kids and 16 grandkids come first. They mean the world to me and moments spent with them make a difference to me in my spiritual life. Thanks for this opportunity to tell about this. I really want to meet Maria Shriver!

    Posted by MaryO16, 4 May 2010.

  • My Minerva can upon me like a full five course meal.
    In that our group Chefs Collaborative 2000 (501-c3) set up a Mission statement of sustainability,education,local support for homeless retraining,&farmer to student exchange.
    Iwas a contented Malibu on a well water & growing my own Veggies& Fruit trees as well as zero water land scaping.
    Composting & cooking for some privates after leaving Beaurevge Resturant

    Posted by oryskid, 4 May 2010.

  • My Minerva moment came on January 11, 2009. This is the day I took control of my life when my life was spinning out of control. I had been working in high-tech marketing and events for 13 years struggling with the work-life balance of being a loving wife and mother of 2 daughters and a senior marketing professional. I was very successful professionally, a good mom, an average wife and a terrible protector of the most precious gifts I’ve been given … my body and mind. That Sunday, in January, was the day my husband and I decided to give up everything we thought we wanted and needed. We decided I would quit my job and sell the house in the middle of the worst recession in history. People thought I was crazy, but that was my Minerva moment to finally take care of people in need and whom I love… me and my family. Since, starting our new life, I founded an organization – Fit for Kids’ Sake! ( My mission is to help motivate and inspire parents to get fit for their kids' sake and to help end obesity around the world. I started my getting fit myself. I have lost nearly fifty pounds since July 1, 2009 and have become a certified nutrition coach, coaching adults and children. I offer fun fitness and nutrition programs for kids at elementary schools and offer FREE Family Bootcamp classes every Saturday morning to help encourage families in our community to have fun and exercise together. I have also created a day to celebrate health and fitness around the world and to help raise funds to help end obesity – International Fitness Day – which will offer FREE health and fitness information and services to everyone around the world! The second annual will be held on Saturday, October 16th. I have also created a social networking community to help other moms dedicated to being a healthy role model for their children called MOM’s Revolution. My Minerva moment came the day I decided to take control of my life and be the architect of change of my life. And now my mission is to help others do the same by sharing my experiences, knowledge and motivation. I wish health & fitness for everyone! Dina

    Posted by fitforkidssake, 4 May 2010.