Powerhouse Women

Our monthly section, Powerhouse Women is a space created to honor women who behind the scenes have built a legacy… women with an incredible amount of courage and selflessness to pave the road to success. Women who against all the odds made it happen!

I wanted to dedicate our first Powerhouse Women’s edition to my mother… the woman who taught me resilience, perseverance, discipline and the face of unconditional love.

Maria del Carmen Contreras… my Mom! How can I start describing the woman who gave me the gift of life, the woman from day one who showed me with actions what is love, determination, and resiliency to fight for your beliefs without any excuses or hesitation.

My mother was born and raised in Venezuela, Estado Tachira, surrounded by beautiful nature and mountains but also with limited ways to get a formal education. As a little girl she had to wake up at 4:00AM to do her farm chores before her walk for hours to get to school.

As a teenager, she decided to move to the city to seek out a better future filled with opportunities… Upon her arrival to the city she had to put school on hold to work full time to cover living expenses. It was soon thereafter; she met my Dad and started a life together at a very young age. My brother was born, then a couple of years later came my sister and then there was me! As you can imagine 8 years full of joy and tears went into her full time Mom duties, but my mother still had one thought in mind… Finish her formal education.

I vividly remember the days when she used to go to an adult educational center for high school classes with the 3 of us, what a lesson in courage and determination! Courage that is the foundation of my soul forever… I will never forget my Mom’s daily phrases “Study! The most powerful tool for life is EDUCATION”…  Due to health related reasons, she wasn’t able to finish school but God knows how that experience changed my life. I feel that desire pushed her even harder to make sure that never happened to her children. That’s what I call transforming pain into growth power.

My Mom is one of the smartest women I have known, her intuition and energy level at 69 years young is getting sharper by the day… She is the kind of Mom who always has your back; she now can say that she has helped raise at least 6 little people (her kids and grandkids) showing us once again there are no limits to do what is needed and the importance of stepping out of our comfort zones.

What I admire most about my mother, even more so now with children of my own, is her ability to Never Give Up. Her selflessness in paving the way for a better future for her children is truly admirable. The desire and fortitude to put others first always will be her masterpiece for years to come. The focus on putting others first in support of their dreams in essence was her dream.  This is the biggest example of selfless love I have ever experienced in my life. Thank you Mom for teaching the most important lessons of life, the ones that can’t be learned at business school, the ones that shaped the woman I am today.