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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Strong Women come in different sized packages

Hi there!! It's B. A. Binns again, here with the Genre-Istas for November, celebrating heroic women.

Up until Tuesday I was going to go into rhapsodies about two first ladies, Michelle Obama and Hilary Clinton. Don't get me wrong, my hat is off to those women, both married to powerful men, both important and powerful in their own right. And both natives of the Chicago area, the place I also call home. Both women showcase the value of an education. They are mothers and political wives who have found their own places in the spotlight. Elegant speakers, graceful and thoughtful.

Secretary of State touts the use of "smart power" and making diplomacy the vanguard of US foreign policy.  And when one of the worst things someone could find to say about Michelle Obama is that she pulled a "three-peat" when celebrating her husband's re-election by wearing a dress she had been seen in not once but twice before, I say she understands economy, and had more important things on her mind that finding the perfect dress for the night.

But I am changeable. And a YA author. So I have decided to profile two strong young women (in one case extremely young) as women of power who are wonderful role-models for any age.

My first role model is Diane Tran, (click to see more) an honor student who loves school and takes AP and dual credit college courses, but was jailed for  excessive truancy after growing exhausted from her two (yes two jobs) that keep her up until 7 a.m. trying to do homework so she can keep up. She works to support two siblings after her parents divorced and moved away. (Yeah, no parents int he picture, just her and two siblings) Maybe I like her so much because she and the protagonist of my first novel, Pull, have that in common, family comes first. Only in her case, that led to a night in jail because she was so exhausted she missed too many days of school and the Texas judge lowered the boom, giving her a $100 fine, 24 hours in jail, and a potential police record that would shadow her hoped for future of being a doctor.

Fortunately for this real-life heroine, her story touched people's hearts in all fifty states and nineteen countries. She found assistance from the Louisiana Children's Education Alliance,who helped raise money to take care of her siblings and raised awareness until the public outcry led the judge to drop  the charge to clear her record, (although nothing can erase that night in jail).

Sam Gordon, (click to see a video) a.k.a. Samantha, 9-year-old gridiron star of the Gremlin football league in Salt Lake City Utah. She runs, tackle,and scores-- against the boys. Her teammates love her (she helped them get to the playoffs). And this isn't even her best sport - she wants to play professional soccer some day. While it helps that she has older brothers to play against and hone her skills, this young lady who loves her stuffed animals and has a cocky, one-sided smile, can be an example to anyone of any age told they can't do something, or that they don't belong.

These young ladies prove that anyone, at any age, can be a role model. They are willing to work hard for their dreams. My hat is off to the future Dr. Tran, and future soccer star Sam.

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Connie Gillam said...


Great blog.

I've been blogging and on Facebook, saluting my mother, who would have been 84 years old on Monday. Another great woman. A Black woman, she raised five kids during the fifties and sixties, with little education and no prospects. She never gave up her faith in God and in her children.
Thank you, Mom.

Paty Jager said...

Great post, B.A.! I love to hear that the youth of today are strong. Having strong young women become strong adults will help this country.

Judith Ashley said...

Thanks for showcasing Miss Tran's story - I knew about Sam Gordon but not about her. Yes You Can! and these two young women are role models for all of us.