How I embarked on my journey to becoming a strong, educated and confident woman.
I suffered from low self-esteem my entire life. As an infant I was abandoned by my birth mother. I was raised by a loving family. However, as a teenage girl with raging emotions, I always thought, “What’s so wrong with me that my own parents don’t want me?” I have always had weight issues; I was not a good student and received mediocre grades.
I didn’t have the desire or the belief that I was smart enough to further my education. A few years after graduation I became a single mother. After receiving a broken nose and facial lacerations, I left the only home I knew, so we could be safe. I eventually married and had another child. My marriage was filled with verbal abuse; I had to be the strong person and at one point I was working two full time jobs to support my family. I had a devastating loss that year when my adoptive mom passed away and my biggest supporter was gone.
I became an office manager for a sanitation company and taught myself QuickBooks and launched my career in accounting. My marriage ended and I found myself at 37 years old divorced with two daughters ages eight and 15 to raise and no formal education. I started at SUNY Sullivan in 2003 and graduated with honors in 2006 with my associates in accounting. With my daughters sitting in the audience watching me walk across the stage, my confidence in what I was capable of soared. I went on to earn my bachelor’s in accounting from SUNY Empire State College and in 2012 earned my MBA from Walden University with honors. I had accomplished so many things that I never thought I was capable of. To be recognized by my family and to watch my children grow and work hard, further their education and become strong, independent women was my biggest accomplishment.
I joined NYS Women, Inc. in June 2017; I am a member of the Tri-County Chapter in Region 6. I became a member because I wanted to make a difference in my community and to increase my network of strong empowered women. I competed in the Personal Professional Development program for the Career Recognition Award at annual conference in June 2018 and won. That was the most empowering experience in my life. The support and the network of supporters from the membership of NYS Women was astounding. NYS Women helped me FIND MY VOICE and to not be afraid of being heard. I left conference in 2018 as Finance Vice Chair. In 2019 I became Vice President of the Tri-County Chapter and Assistant Region Director for Region 6. At conference I became Personal Professional Development Standing Chair, Strategic Planning Chair, Registration Chair and remained Finance Vice Chair. In 2020 I am thrilled to be State Treasurer for NYS Women as well as Strategic Planning Chair and Registration Chair.
NYS Women Inc helped me FIND MY VOICE and has given me the avenues to make a difference in my community. Before NYS Women and their programs and network of women I would never have embarked on starting an organization. I helped initiate a 501c3 organization called Amelia’s Voice to bring awareness to domestic violence and its devastation. I am President of the organization and we are working together to open a safe house for domestic violence victims in Chenango County. Currently there is nowhere for these victims to feel safe until they can gain their independence from violence and control. I am a domestic violence survivor, but not everyone survives. I want to be able to make a difference and save lives.
In the past I had always stayed in the back or at home and avoided crowds of people. Not anymore! My journey has been an amazing transformation physically, mentally, and emotionally. I would not be where I am today if I hadn’t joined NYS Women, Inc.