Category Archives: Phenomenal Woman

“If we want our girls to benefit from the courage and wisdom of the women before them, we have to share the stories.” – Shireen Dodson

As February comes to a close, we enter the month of March, also known as women’s history month. The celebration of women’s history began as women’s history week, in Sonoma County, California in 1978. This week included March 8th, International Women’s Day. Then, in 1981, Senator Orinn Hatch and Barbara Mikulski co-sponsored a joint Congressional Resolution for a National Women’s History Week. Then, within the next 6 years, Congress expanded the celebration of women into a month – March.

Throughout history, women have worked hard in order to fight for equal voting rights, equal pay and equal treatment. And to a degree, much of this has been established. However, there is always room for improvement.

Although women in the Western world have achieved some equality, women in other parts of the world are still suffering and lacking a voice. These women are still living in societies where they are discouraged from voicing their opinions.

For this reason, the INSPIRE@BTHS team interviews inspirational women once a month in order to inspire other women to work hard, try hard and succeed in their following their dreams. Our motto is work hard for yourself, for your family, and for those women around the world who still need someone to voice their opinions for them.

Here is an article about an Indian woman who broke barriers and got control of her life. Kakuben Lalabhai Parmar, a Gajarati women from a cattle-herding community, was from an untouchable caste. The men in her society controlled all aspects of the household. Nonetheless, through the Self Employed Women’s Association, also known as the SEWA project, Parmar was able to stand up on her own feet and eventually control the household account.

The INSPIRE@BTHS team will continue to bring our readers inspirational women that are taking steps to change the world. We hope that our past subjects have been worth reading about and we hope our future subjects are even more exciting for our devoted readers.

March may be women’s history month, but, for the INSPIRE@BTHS team, it means a little a more. March also marks the INSPIRE@BTHS team’s first anniversary! We couldn’t have made it this far without our readers and our interviewees. So, we’d like to take this time to thank you all for reading the blog and contributing to our experience as we try to make little changes in today’s world.

Stay tuned for our upcoming, inspiring interviewees. And remember: Be assertive. Be curious and most importantly, be inspired.

Adieu and Arrivaderci everyone! Until next time on INSPIRE@BTHS.

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“Every good home needs a solid foundation.” Maggie Doyne

Maggie Doyne with her children; Nepalese orphans she educates and cares for.

In 2005, Maggie Doyne was just another high school senior from New Jersey that was excited about college and all the new possibilities it would bring. Consumed by the SATs, application deadlines, soccer and boys, Doyne never thought that, at 22, she would be building the Kopila Valley Children’s Home – designed to give Nepalese children basic necessities, such as food, water and, most importantly, education.

After just completing her senior year of high school, Doyne asked her parents to take a year off from college to go on an excursion around the world with the organization Leap Now, in order to take part in ecological and cultural projects. “I’ll never forget the morning—after having been up all night cramming for an exam—that I stumbled downstairs in my pajamas, and announced to my parents my wish to take a year off. So, as my classmates headed off to college, my parents dropped me off at Newark Airport—just me and my backpack on my first solo trip away from home. As nervous as I was, (and I was!), there was something really liberating about this first journey. I had no idea where the road ahead would lead. I felt like there was something inside me, something deeper, something just waiting to be unleashed.”

With a group of 12 other students, Doyne helped rebuild a deteriorating sea wall in a Fijian tribal village, worked with native Maori Tribes to restore their stream, spent time with aborigines in the outback, took outdoor leadership and survival courses, and even learned how to meditate at a Buddhist monastery!  Not bad for a girl just out of high school.

After the trip with Leap Now, Doyne decided to venture out on her own and do an independent internship in an orphanage in Northeastern India. However, what was supposed to be just a 3-month internship stretched out into a full year. Doyne says, “While I was in the orphanage in India, I started meeting Nepalese refugees, mostly children who had fled the country during the Maoist Insurgency. I decided to go to Nepal to see the aftermath of the war with my own eyes. Before I knew it, I was trekking through the Himalayas and passing through some of the most poverty stricken villages in the region. I was astounded by the conditions, burned temples, ransacked homes and destroyed schools. I fell in love with the bright eyes and beautiful smiles of the children but was shocked to see many of them struggling to survive without their most basic needs: A safe home, food, clothing and the chance to go to school.”

This was what brought her to build the Kopila Valley Children’s Home. “I started following the news and events, speaking with NGOs, (non-government affiliated organizations) peace organizations, government officials and resident villagers in the border region of Nepal and discovered that one of the biggest issues in the country, was the lack of facilities for the country’s misplaced children; ex-child soldiers, orphans, and young girls sold into sex-trafficking.”

As soon as she began to learn more about these unfortunate, mistreated children, Doyne quickly asked her parents to wire all of her babysitting money to her savings account. By 2006, Maggie Doyne was able to buy the five thousand dollar piece of land that would later turn into the incredible Kopila Valley Children’s home.

Now, Maggie Doyne is living full time in Nepal, with various breaks to the U.S.. She is currently developing Blink Now, a non-profit organization that is not only the U.S. side of the Kopila Valley Children’s home, but also a vehicle that shares Doyne’s ideas with teenagers of the world today.

Unfortunately, the INSPIRE@BTHS Team was not able to meet Maggie Doyne due to her very busy schedule. For this reason, we were not able to ask her the questions from the Marcel Proust Questionnaire. However, here is a video that really showcases the heart and vigor of Doyne’s personality – one of a truly gifted and giving woman.

Maggie Doyne is an incredible woman to say the very least. She is diligent, strong-willed and a true revolutionary. The INSPIRE@BTHS Team cannot wait to see what new and exciting projects Maggie, and Blink Now, will be up to next.

So everyone, as Maggie Doyne says, “In the blink of an eye, we can all make a difference.” Be assertive. Be curious and most importantly, be inspired.

Adieu and Arrivaderci everyone! Until next time on INSPIRE@BTHS.

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Filed under Inspirational, non-profit, Phenomenal Woman, volunteer

Phenomenal Woman

“Not knowing when the dawn will come, I open every door.” Emily Dickinson

The INSPIRE@BTHS team is working on many different ventures this summer. Our members are traveling abroad, spending time with their families and friends, working, volunteering,  touring colleges, trying to change the world in order to reach success and happiness in the future.

We are strong believers in using time efficiently. Every minute is precious, every hour useful and every moment worth a lifetime. Use this summer, and the summers ahead, to do the things you’ve always wanted to do. Pick up a new hobby. Travel if you can. Visit family you haven’t seen in a while. Catch up with an old friend. Volunteer at the local animal shelter. Change the world.

Life is too short to wait for things to happen. Being proactive, taking initiative, and stepping up to the plate – it’s all on you.

Do something that makes you feel successful. It’s a common misconception that success is synonymous with money. It’s not. As long as you’re genuinely happy with what you’re doing, and you enjoy what you’re doing, you are successful. Stay on that path because all the good things in life, all the joy, all the happiness, will follow you. You won’t need to chase it.

And, of course, don’t forget to open all the doors. You never know what is lying ahead.

The INSPIRE@BTHS team will continue to bring you amazing women who have proven to be great role models for the young and old. But, this month we’d like to take the time to remind you that life is worth living. And to remind you that, no matter what you’re doing, you are an amazing woman. Below is a poem by Maya Angelou that is not only inspirational, but also heartwarming and beautiful. Be proud to be a woman. But moreover, be proud to be living and enjoying life. Because that’s what life is truly about.

Phenomenal Woman By Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Adieu and Arrivaderci everyone! Until next time on INSPIRE@BTHS.

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Filed under Inspirational, Phenomenal Woman