Governor Ann Richards

Leslie Holland August 23, 2011 Scholarship Essay One of the most crucial issues facing women today is whether or not a woman is ready to run this country as President of the United States. Politics has always seemed to me to be a “boys club” mentality no matter where or when. There seems to be a thought process that women don’t belong in politics because they are too nice, too innocent or too naive. There is even the notion by some men that women do not possess enough education to become a politician or that women do not possess the “kill or be killed” attitude that would come in handy, especially as President in a time of war or conflict.

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Women like the late Governor Richards, including Rep. Giffords and Michelle Bauchman, are proving men wrong left and right at every turn of the page it seems. Every election brings a woman closer and closer to that coveted “male” role of President of the United States. Gov. Sarah Palan ran for President and then took the opportunity to run as Vice President alongside John McCain. Geraldine Ferraro did the same back in the 1980s when she ran alongside Walter Mondale.

All these political women have worked their whole lives to give other women the chance to break into the political field, to have their say and to, one day soon, become our first woman President. My goal in returning to school and getting a degree is to become a teacher. Most people don’t see a teacher as a political figure and, to a certain point, teachers have no political jobs so to speak. However, as a teacher, I see my role in this fight as someone who can educate other young women so that they will take up the fight in the political arena and make more of themselves then perhaps they or their families ever thought possible.

Catherine the Great and Elizabeth I were both women rulers. And they were both single women as they ruled. As a single mother, I see myself as the head of my household, a role traditionally thought of as belonging to the husband and father. This is another issue facing women today as well. Can a women run her own household? Of course she can. And she can go to school, earn a degree, raise her children and still come out smelling like a rose. Thanks to pioneering women such as Governor Richards, these things are possible for women in this day and age.

In completing my college education, I plan to teach for my first few years in a low income school district in an effort to bring hope and prosperity to young women who might not otherwise have that chance. I want to empower young girls and young women to find out that they are not to be held back by the chains that men or families might place on them. They can become anything they want to be. No dream is to big to be realized with the right plans, the right education and the right mentors.

Over the past two years, I have faced many personal obstacles and barriers, most notably suffering a stroke six weeks into my first semester of college in 2009 and then facing gallbladder cancer in the fall of 2010. Both times I had to leave school to recuperate but each time, I have returned in the spring and done as well as possible to keep my grades up and my spirits and self-esteem high. It isn’t always easy but I know that my calling to be a teacher means I must persevere and overcome whatever comes into my path so that my students of the future will have every chance and ability to be the best women they can become.

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