We chose our newest MOM because she embodies the spirit of compassion that motivates us to address the problems directly in our faces AND the perspective that cross-cultural relationships bring. Nancy has worked in the education field for almost 25 years, first as a teacher and then as a guidance counselor. She happens to be the wife of 4HIM’s founder, Steve, and the actual mother of, Leia, one of Somebody’s Mama’s founding members. Over the last twenty years, she’s spent many vacation days traveling to areas of the world where education is an opportunity for the privileged and merely a slight possibility for many poor and rural families.
I was a teacher long before I got a degree. I looked for opportunities to teach others even as a small child. I admired my own teachers who nurtured my love of learning and the desire to teach others.
Lack of education hinders people from being able earn a living wage, judge whether business deals are fair, read laws, and influence the community. This is true especially for women who have been stripped of dignity, property rights, opportunity, and control. Families and communities benefit when women are given a voice, training, and a chance to improve themselves.
|Nancy with the staff from her school|
The biggest challenge of mothering was to build confidence and independence in my child without losing the ability to guide her until she was an adult. The biggest joy of mothering was seeing my daughter use her confidence and independence to empower her own children.
Children have reminded me of my influence by their responses to me. One boy asked me if I really believed he could go to college. I responded by saying, “I believe you will with all of my heart.” I’ve rocked little ones full of despair to have them say, “You love me.” Yes, I do. I correct children with the reassurance that I love them too much to let them fail. Education is an invaluable tool for people regardless of where they live.
|Nancy with her husband, daughter, son-in-law, and grandsons|
Undoubtedly, many of us can look back on our own education journeys and pinpoint a teacher who inspired us in some way to be better, do better, think better—teachers like Nancy, who believe that every single child deserves a chance to learn and that every single child who is given that opportunity has a chance to change the world.