It could be your mother, a friend or a teacher. Have they expressed themselves artistically? Worked to better their community? Achieved academic success? Empowered others and embraced diversity? Share their stories here.
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Tara Marta

Scranton

Born in 1921, my Aunt Anna grew up in Brooklyn, New York at a time when women had few choices. Though she longed to attend college, she had to quit high school during her junior year to work, turning over each paycheck to her parents, and this she did until her early thirties. While society expected women to settle down as a wife and mother, Aunt Anna broke with conformity and forged her own trajectory. She dated often but never found anyone she loved enough to relinquish her freedom. Neighbors chided the audacity of this fierce, independent woman who refused to live within the confines of societal norms. One of Aunt Anna’s most admirable traits was her refusal to do anything against her will. Instead, she chose to live a life enriched with friends and culture. Growing up, I would sit at her knee and listen to stories about the places she’d traveled and the people she’d known. She believed in the women’s movement, though she never marched or picketed. She didn’t have to. She lived it – on her own terms. Aunt Anna passed on in 2001, but her legacy endures. I have never forgotten this beautiful human being who taught me that in life a woman wears many hats – not simply mother or wife, daughter or sister, but someone whose limits stretch beyond imagination. She taught me to embrace womanhood and to recognize my own strength. And more importantly, Aunt Anna showed me what it means to make your own path and travel it at your own speed, never stopping to answer anyone’s questions.