Most Inspiring Women 2021
We are surrounded by inspiring women doing inspiring things and all too frequently, they don’t realize it. In this series, we highlight the awesome work women are doing to make an impact in and around Delaware.
New winners being announced throughout March!
In this interview with our final Top 10 Inspiring Woman for 2021, Sharon Kelly Hake told us about founding nonprofit Great Dames, what fuels her work, and what it means to find work you’re truly passionate about.
In this duo interview, we talked with Vernita Dorsey and LaVante Dorsey. Both amazing women in their own right, this mother/daughter pair talked community, giving back, and family values.
Introducing another Top 10 Inspiring Woman of 2021, Kyra Hoffner! Kyra is a volunteer lobbyist for the League of Women Voters, as well as an advocate for many issues from voting rights to legalization of cannabis, homelessness, and fair districting.
In this interview with Jennifer Saienni of Delaware Hospice and the Millennial Summit we discuss the issues facing patients for end-of-life planning, as well as resources for millennials.
In this interview with Bow Tie Atticus founder and animal rights advocate, Naomi Girke, we discussed building a business during a pandemic, and giving back as a platform for business success.
In this interview with nonprofit leader and political candidate Monique Williams-Johns, we discuss founding a nonprofit, tackling the unique challenges that are posed because of race, gender, and class, and being the trailblazer for future generations.
In this interview with Collie Turner, founder of Heroic Gardens, we discuss horticultural therapy, building a nonprofit, and sharing advice from a career that has seen dramatic shifts in roles and expectations.
In this interview with Erica “E.Lizé” Jones, we discuss art, social justice, and how to keep going through personal struggle.
In this interview with Shabranae Patton, CEO/Founder of Anchor’d Inc we discuss entrepreneurship, human trafficking, and building a business that gives back.
Get Inspired with these Women to Watch
While we couldn’t interview everyone (believe us, we wanted to!), we still loved what we learned about these nominees and want to highlight these amazing women!
Corporate Communications Manager
Highmark DelawareConnect on LinkedIn
“Inspiration comes in many forms for me, but overall it is the human experience. Witnessing my family, friends and community overcome challenges, fail with grace, grow, create, love, and just live life in all its mess and beauty, is a such a blessing. I am the sum of the people I care about, and they are why I strive to be the best version of myself. “
UNITED & FREE PHOTOGRAPHY LLC
“Things that inspire me the most – my love for God, Audrey Hepburn, nature, positive people.”
Yoga and Mindfulness Facilitator
“I find a special kind of inspiration in survivors of trauma who are living with symptoms of PTSD. Trauma in any of its forms (and there are many) can make even the most seemingly small or benign task feel inconceivable and terrifying. I serve survivors of trauma through my facilitation of trauma-sensitive yoga. To witness someone taking even just a little bit of their power back despite their experiences and suffering is inspiring beyond any words I’ll ever know.”
Founder & CEO
Miss Social Mogulwww.misssocialmogul.com
“When I was a kid, I watched the Oprah Winfrey show almost every afternoon at 4:00pm. No matter the topic or interview, Oprah instilled a love of learning within me. One of the most interesting interviews I saw was with Sarah Jessica Parker, no doubt making her rounds on the various talkshows for Sex and the City. Oprah asked Sarah what inspired her to consistently be so fashion forward and trendy.
Sarah talked about how walking through everyday life was an inspiration. She would see another woman on the sidewalk and think, “oh I really love how tight she got her ponytail,” or, “I love the way that skirt lays.” It wasn’t “stealing” another woman’s style, but being inspired to integrate elements into your own wardrobe. I was so awestruck by Sarah’s ability to let the little things inspire her. So what inspires me?
Tight ponytails. The moment your coffee has just been poured and you can see the steam billowing. A podcast episode where I learn something new. Good books. Piano versions of pop songs. A fresh ball of yarn. The movie Eat Pray Love. Glennon Doyle. Traveling to a new place. Traveling to an old place. My best friend. My favorite Peloton instructor. A really good interview. My writing coach. British accents. Ugg boots.
I’m inspired by the big things, the little things, the courageous acts, and small moments of compassion. I love finding inspiration in my everyday life, it makes the tough times all the more worth living, and the good times all the better. “
Wilmington UniversityConnect on LinkedIn
“I am constantly amazed by really powerful, strong, go-getter role models, but this year my biggest inspirations were the people who picked me up and dusted me off after COVID repeatedly knocked me down. I am grateful to the people in my life who tell me I deserve the opportunities I choose to pursue.
Secondly, I am endlessly inspired by nonprofits, mutual aid and grassroots organizations. They exist because someone set out to make active change in the world. I live my life to learn, grow, and make little positive changes every day. “
The Downsizing Designer | President
Design Services, Ltd.
“What inspires me? Making a difference and changing people’s lives… by design! “
Pautler Creative Enterprises
“I’m inspired by the quote, ‘The world needs you to show up today. You are valuable, you are powerful, and what you believe changes the world.’ I believe that each of us was put on earth at this time, in this generation for a reason. Life is about showing up for each other, our communities, our families, and giving all we can. This idea keeps me inspired and helps me wake up each morning with renewed energy and inspiration.”