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.
* required
  • I agree to the submission terms and conditions
  • By submitting this form (your “Submission”), you represent, warrant and agree that (i) the information you have provided is truthful to the best of your knowledge, (ii) THIRTEEN may share your Submission with its affiliates, WNET, WLIW, and PMNJ, and licensees including without limitation PBS (collectively, “WNET”), (iii) WNET may use your Submission, in whole or in part, in all manner and media, including but not limited in connection with American Masters - Inspiring Woman (the “Project”), companion materials and ancillary platforms for the Project, and Project and institutional promotion and outreach, (iv) your Submission may be edited for brevity or inappropriate content, and (v) you possess or have obtained all rights necessary to grant the foregoing permissions – including without limitation privacy or publicity rights with respect to any individual(s) depicted in the Submission, and copyright in the Submission.

Teressa Kennedy

Manteca, CA, United States

My mother is an extraordinary example of strength and courage. During my lifetime, she has experienced so much: from physical abuse in her childhood, battling an aggressive cancer in her 20’s, to launching her own business in her 30s, while raising me as a single parent.

In later years she went from unemployment to becoming the first African American women CEO of a local chamber of commerce. She was awarded Woman of the Year by Senator Lois Wolk, and Inducted in the Library of Congress not once, but twice for Outstanding Professional.

On December 19, 2013 our lives completely changed when my mother experienced a severe stroke, which caused her brain to bleed and caused paralysis on the left side of her body. She was strong even in the midst of having a stroke, by driving herself to the hospital. Her brain bled for over three hours, and in most cases a person never recovers from hemorrhaging that long. Just two weeks after having a stroke and still slurring in her speech, and delay in cognitive activity, she managed to leverage her resources and take the helm of the chamber once again as their CEO.

We believe she is a miracle, and I would believe others would be blessed and encouraged by her story.