Strength, Determination, Humor and Compassion:
Two Walk With Sally supporters discuss women who have inspired them and how they plan on continuing in their footsteps.
Michele Brown, a Keller Williams agent and President of the Women’s Council of Realtors South Bay, believes in creating a safe haven for motivation and encouraging each other to push just a little harder. “It’s too easy to not strive harder or give up when things get hard.” “When we come together with a group of like- minded people, the combined wisdom is considerably greater than any one person working alone.” Dezi Villagomez, a past Walk With Sally Mentee and a recent graduate of the University of Humboldt, believes that with all the definitions society places on women and girls these days “it is important for women to embrace themselves and empower other women” to do the same. “We need to raise each other up, not bring each other down.”
Both of these women are wise, strong and compassionate in their own right and yet so different in backgrounds, that it is fascinating when we see that they are inspired by very similar women. When asked who is the most inspiring woman in your life and what inspires you most about them? Michele talks about her mother and her “can do attitude” as well as her humor that molded her and her 5 siblings to think for themselves and treat others the way you would want to be treated. Dezi speaks of both her Walk With Sally Mentor who showed her compassion and determination as well as her grandmother who with grace and strength beat back breast cancer at the age of 80.
With a philosophy of compassion and giving back, Michele came to Walk With Sally after attending our largest fundraiser of the year, White Light White Night. “I was consumed by the energy of love, the authenticity of the people involved in the leadership of this organization, and their participation in the community as well as in Walk With Sally” says Brown. Dezi was enrolled in the Mentoring program when she was 10 years old. Not only did she stay in the program for the 8 more years she was eligible, she and her Mentor are still in each other’s lives and Dezi has begun to help volunteer in the office. “The behind the scenes work that Walk With Sally does to keep the program going amazes…” says Villagomez. Over the years she has seen “an immense growth of mentee and mentor pairs, friendship activities and community connections.”
When asked how they each plan to make an impact and leave their mark on the community Brown says “My legacy is that every day we do something that will make someone’s day better and that every time we receive payment for the work we do in our business, we reinvest in the community and the people that we serve.” For herself, Villagomez graduated with a psychology degree and plans to get her master’s in Marriage and Family therapy. She intends to help hospitalized patients and their families cope with the emotions and impact of cancer or death. Oh yeah and she wants to start a support group for single fathers like her dad. “I have many plans for the future and I’m just getting started.”
Women’s Council of Realtors South Bay is a network of successful REALTORS, advancing women as professionals and leaders in business, the industry and the communities they serve. One of their largest events of the year, Taste of Summer, is coming up this Thursday, June 22nd at the South Coast Botanical Gardens. Kick off the official Summer equinox by attending the Taste of Summer and then heading over to the White Light White Night Kick Off at Shade Hotel in Redondo Beach!