Woman Wednesday: Olivia

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below.              


Q and A with Olivia, from Charleston, SC, living in St Louis, MO

“You will always have a problem if you look for one.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I am most passionate about people and natural disasters. I love helping women come out of their shells and become the person they want to be.

My obsession with natural disasters came after I lost 80% of my possessions in Hurricane Michael, Panama City Florida, October 10th, 2018. In December of 2018, I partnered with a close friend and helped with the #ComeBackStrongProject. We hosted the event at a local mall in Panama City. We gave toys and supplies to those in need at the event. It was a kick start to my humanitarian efforts. 


In February of 2020, I volunteered in the Bahamas to help with the hurricane Dorian relief efforts with the organization All Hands and Hearts. I plan on volunteering every year going forward. I am also writing a hurricane survival guide for tips and supplies after the storm. 

 

IMG_20200220_112549Olivia has lived in a lot of places; her husband is in the Air Force. She’s lived in Charleston, South Carolina; Panama City, Florida; Atlanta, GA; and St Louis, MO. But her favorite place is wherever she is helping rebuild communities after natural disasters.

 

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I was born a Buddhist in South Carolina. My mother was born Catholic and converted before I was born. My father was an atheist. His parents were Jehovah’s witnesses. Needless to say, I have much respect for people with different religious views. 
We were not wealthy by any means. We always had the cheapest house in the best school district. My mother and father were very big in our education. Despite the lack of funding, my parents always found ways to share life’s experiences with us. We went on vacations and tried a variety of foods. 
My father was addicted to drugs, and my parents divorced when I was 8. A little about my family dynamics. My mother was 35 when she had me, and I’m the oldest of 3. She didn’t have children in her first marriage. My father was also married previously, but did not have any other children. When my parents were first divorced, my mother went to college. She actually got her double masters while being a single mother of 3 with minimal family help. (That is part of the reason I have the drive that I do. I honestly feel extremely privileged to be able to build my dreams without the same obstacles she had.)   

 

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I started working when I was 15. My father moved back into the house when I was 16 for two years to help my mother co-parent. They weren’t together; they just loved us more than they disliked each other. They were actually friends “sometimes.” I did pageants and went to 6 proms and was relatively popular in my town and city. My dad moved out when I was 18, and I moved in with him when I got out of high school. My father passed away when I was 20, and I paid for his funeral. I was also in an abusive relationship at that time. 
I did a lot and learned a lot on a little, but it is definitely a part of what made me the woman I am today. 
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Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?

A: Never give up. No matter how hard it gets. You will always have a problem if you look for one. Your perception is your reality and sometimes you get in the way of your own growth.

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: Equal treatment of men and women. I’m very textbook definition when it comes to this topic. My thoughts have developed over the years and I fear that women are losing touch with their individual power.

 

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Thank you for reading!

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Woman Wednesday: Nancy

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below.        


Q and A with Nancy, Puerto Rico

“Life is all about working with what bothers us, not giving power to the problem but looking for solutions. And it is precisely why I tell my story. I had all the reasons to give up and be a “no one” in life.”

 

Q: Tell us about yourself.

A: I was born in North Carolina, USA, but I grew up in Puerto Rico. I have an incredible mix of culture and beliefs and I’m fully bilingual, thanks to this.  I’m the mother of a girl who is 17 and a boy who is 9. I’m a coach, educator, lecturer/motivator, host of a radio program “Lazos Latinos” and businesswoman–President of Family Secret Helpers, Inc., and Founder of the projects: BEmpower Women, Strong Military Family and Fundación Félix Fuentes. Also, I’m the creator of the event Mujer Empoderando (a women empowerment event).

 

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Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I love to help and empower people, families, couples, and the community. Seeing the transformation in people is something incredible. Many times, people just need help, a word of motivation to help them take a step and get out of their current situation, turn their passions/ideas into a business or make decisions. I like to work for causes, give a voice to those that can’t talk, help the needy, put on the worker’s boots, and reach out to those who feel lost. These things bring me emotion. I feel that I am collaborating to make our world better, and I know it may sound very common, but it is a reality, the satisfaction that I get when I see the transformations is one of the best feelings that I have been able to experience.

 

Another detail is that I feel good knowing that my kids are seeing me as a positive example. After all, they are the future. Seeing their faces when we achieve a goal and see them get involved in our projects gives me peace knowing that whatever happens, our legacy will continue for generations. I worked for 11 years as a teacher and then I directed educational projects in a nonprofit corporation. I became certified in coaching and studied psychology, all in order to be able to help people.

 

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In 2012, I founded my nonprofit corporation, Family Secret Helpers, Inc. During the last few years, we have been able to help families, people, and communities. We have had ups and downs, but today, we are on a very good road. Family Secret Helpers has a mission to provide empowerment tools to people who need to balance their lives and rebuild their relationships–personally and professionally through our events, training programs, and coaching training.

 

 

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: The first years of my life were very difficult. My parents got divorced when I was 12. My mother understood that the best thing for my brother and I was to live in Puerto Rico. When I lived with both of my parents, I experienced domestic violence. I swore that if one day I was a mother, I would do everything possible so that my children would not go through what my brother and I lived through. Thanks to the experiences, today I am who I am and I am dedicated to helping people.

 

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Q: What is something valuable you’ve learned that you’d like others to know? 

A: We have all gone through times when we thought we could not continue, moments when we thought we could not get out of that situation, at which time we felt that the roof of our house was falling on us.

The reality is that we all have drowned in a glass of water. We have all faced great challenges. We all have failed. We have all had a voice that has told us that we cannot do it. We have all been through a betrayal. Some have experienced more intensity than others, but we all have lived a moment in our lives that we would like to erase or not remember. The question is, what stops you from living that life which you have dreamed? The answer: YOU!

 

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During the last few years, I have had the opportunity to work with many people, help them find their passion, find the tools so they can live the life they have always dreamed of and overcome their fear to make important decisions in their life. I remember one Sunday, after finishing my radio program, I received a phone call from one of the radio listeners, who thanked me because she had been thinking about committing suicide. I can tell you that moment I had goosebumps, she told me for some reason she had put on the station and listened to the program that day, the words I had said helped her understand that the solution was not to end her life, but to face that which tormented her so much.

Life is all about working with what bothers us, not giving power to the problem but looking for solutions. And it is precisely why I tell my story. I had all the reasons to give up and be a “no one” in life. I offer people tools so that they can leave the comfort zone and dare them to start doing wonderful things and see life with different eyes. I know that those who lived with me during the dark stages of my life are surprised with who I became, as I’m also sure that those who know me now would be surprised to know that I had such a dark past.

Most people, especially women, think about the idea that we should live the life that society has prescribed for us. If we deviate from that path, they ridicule us, label us, and isolate us.

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Feminism is a movement that pursues social change by combating the discrimination suffered by women for the simple fact of being a woman. In these times, there are countries where being a woman is really complicated due to the suppression of rights and the discrimination that exists. There are places where women, for the simple fact of being so, have to fight against social barriers and injustices: forced marriage, veto in politics, or wage inequality–just some of them.

I confess that as I write these lines, my eyes are full of tears. I find it so difficult to believe in these times there are so many women living a life with so many limitations, submerged to what society decides.

 

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Today, there are many women who are in charge of organizations that serve to empower women. Groups that help other women to leave abusive relationships. Companies that offer women tools to convert their ideas and passions into businesses. One of these is our project, BEmpower Women. Like this project, there are many groups to support you. This means that you are not alone and that there is no reason to walk on this new route alone.

What I have learned with my work is the power of women. We have to be available, open, and receptive to make enormous transformations in us. I invite you to continue, believe, empower yourself, and to know you will find excellent tools that will help and motivate you. Don’t ever give up!

Finally, my mission does not end–while there are women who are not yet free. Empowering women and fighting for the rights of women is a mission I will continue for many years.

Links to my site/social media:

Website/Blog: www.familysecrethelpers.com

Facebook:
@FamilySecretHelpers
@BEmpowerWomen
@StrongMilitaryFamily

Instagram:
@familysecrethelpers
@bempower_women
@strongmilitaryfamily

 

Family Secret Helpers has other projects:

– Strong Military Family helps to empower and assist veterans, military, and their families.
– BEmpower Women empowers women in different facets of their lives.
– Fundación Felix Fuentes, the most recent project that joined our services, offers support groups, coaching, and assistance to those who are experiencing the grieving process.
– Mujer Empoderando event gives women who are business owners the opportunity to exhibit, promote, and sell their products and services. In the event, we also offer talks and workshop in the business, personal growth, beauty, health, and lifestyle areas.

In addition, I am the author of the book, Compartiendo Vivencias, which is for sale at amazon.com. The book’s goal is to empower those who read it. I am in the process of finishing my second book, Empútate. This book is going to empower, inspire, and motivate women.

To learn more about what we do, you can visit www.familysecrethelpers.com

 

Connect with me! I’d love to chat with you! 

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