Having grown up in the family business in her hometown of Reading, Barbara is now the owner and operator of an environmental testing laboratory that specializes in waters and soils. Founded by her father in 1952, the lab serves towns, businesses and homeowners in the Philadelphia area and employs over 50 people.
“In the beginning, I had to take a man with me to meet with clients, in order to be taken seriously. Thankfully, that’s changed.”
“Definitely when my parents asked me to take over the family business.”
“‘Slow and steady wins the race,’ from Aesop’s Fables.”
“Family. They’ve inspired me through the years. Both my parents and siblings, and my children.”
Self-love through yoga. This is Valerie’s message to women everywhere. Her focus on body positivity though yoga has inspired more than 150,000 Instagram followers. She believes that with determination, motivation and patience, anyone can practice yoga. It’s all about learning to love yourself physically and mentally, and listening to your body.
“You can’t rush or force things. You have to let things naturally happen and go with the highs and lows of the journey with dedication.”
“I was just doing it for myself to visually see my yoga practice and I stumbled into the body positive movement. I learned that I could be a big person of color doing something physical without focusing on weight loss. My practice is my own, but it has become even more than just myself.”
“Teachers. Teachers of all kinds do so much for the future of this world.”
As an active member of her New Haven community, Nilda has served in numerous advocacy organizations and received awards and special tributes for her service, dedication and leadership. She has learned to use her voice to encourage, empower and motivate women to reach their full potential — and see themselves as leaders.
“Fear of not being good enough. I didn't see myself as a leader before coming to New Haven.”
“I’m most proud of my service to others when I see parents speak up and advocate for their children and their rights.”
“My children and the passion for justice.”
“Love. With love, you can accomplish so many things.”
As the founder of a personal development organization for women and girls, Zakiya devotes her life to empowering others. Through her blog and as a columnist and contributor to local magazines, Zakiya has found her true calling. With passion, enthusiasm and wit, she encourages women and girls to be their best selves.
“I take intentional action steps to do something, no matter how small or challenging the steps may be.”
“To whom much is given, much will be expected. To whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.”
“Seeing the light bulb of purpose turn on in a person’s life.”
“People. Seeing people overcome obstacles.”
Kendall is a stay-at-home mom on a mission — to share the joys, challenges and triumphs of everyday life through her blog, kendallrayburn.com. As a mother of two young boys with special needs and a woman dealing with a chronic illness, Kendall tells her story with grace, humility, fortitude and a sense of humor.
“Follow your passion. Do something that makes your heart full.”
“My son makes me appreciate the small moments in life. He struggles, but he just never gives up. And it makes me want to be just like him.”
“I’ve always loved to write and I could always lose myself in writing. I love that I can support my family by doing something I’m passionate about.”
“Family. My kids, my husband ... they’re my heart.”