Last month I attended an insurance workshop where the speaker told me clients find newsletters about insurance and safety tips boring! What they like, he said, is learning more about me outside the world of insurance. So here goes.
Imagine we’re lunching over a glass of wine and I tell you about my kids: Hollie, age 30 and Kaycie, age 27. You nod politely but think “she looks kind of young for kids that age, what is her secret?”
Here’s my secret…I am kind of young for kids that age. I was a single teenage mom whose support structure had failed. But when I looked into the face of my newborn daughter I decided then and there I would never slide into hopelessness and poverty…I would persevere.
So with daughters in tow I finished high school, attended the University of Washington, started in the insurance business and worked my way up to Vice President of Wells Fargo. Hollie is now a Senior Vice President at Bank of America in Phoenix and Kaycie is a hair stylist in Rochester, NY expecting a child of her own.
As a woman who worked her way out of a situation that would appear hopeless to many, I’m now in a unique position to bring hope to girls who share a similar fate. When I tell them my story they listen. In Seattle I was on the Board of Directors of the Women’s Funding Alliance, the YWCA and the Associated Industries Bright Promise Scholar Program, all charities designed to help young women in need.
After leaving Seattle I met my wonderful husband Mark whose love for the desert became mine and together we started Desert Insurance Solutions here in La Quinta. Last year we sponsored a big event to raise funds for a teen pregnancy center in Indio. I’m also active with the Women Leader’s Forum providing scholarships for girls and I’m excited to start with the Ophelia Project which helps teenage girls with their self-esteem.
I’m mentor to a high school girl who lives with her aunt and developmentally-challenged brother in a bleak fenced-in project in Indio. Her father died and her mother was deported. She takes two buses to get to school and has little time for anything else. Despite that hardship she’s bright, polite and positive…she was delighted and fascinated when I took her to the mall last week…for the first time in her life. Here’s the amazing part…she’s getting straight A’s! It’s heartbreaking and inspiring at the same time.
So that’s a little about me. My job is insurance but my passion is women helping young women. I expect to continue supporting these community activities and in a few years hope to establish a Desert Insurance Solutions scholarship. I’ll share progress so you as clients can share in what happens when you show a trapped girl a way out— they walk, then they run, then they fly.