Editor's note: Finding your inner phoenix

(photo by Matt Roth )
March 29, 2012

I remember meeting Tatyana McFadden six years ago.

As a reporter writing about the paraplegic athlete, I spent several months alternately tracking developments in her court battle for equal participation rights in high school track meets and attending those meets -- where at times she was treated like a pariah. Her poise made it easy to forget she was just 17 and surrounded by the high school mentality of fitting in.

I also remember a friend telling me several years ago about Linda Furiate, a woman whose personal and professional life was derailed by the sudden onset of debilitating muscle spasms. Although I never met Linda, her story stuck with me as a stark reminder that life can, and will, throw you curve balls.

Laura Neuman and Elaine Northrop, too, have impressive stories of hard-won success in the business world and conquering obstacles on a personal level. They started with little and achieved much.

All four of these women reinforce my belief that women have a special kind of resilience. You can read about each of their journeys in “Like a phoenix: Portraits in perseverance."

As a woman who’s about to welcome a daughter -- any day now -- I find these “phoenixes” particularly inspiring. I hope to impart their brand of determination to my daughter so she will never settle for being a victim of circumstance.

Jennifer Broadwater, Editor

Howard Magazine

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