Tomorrow is International Women’s Day when we celebrate the great ladies of the world, today we’re going to celebrate the incredible women of our neighborhood a day early. Here are the 2019 Fierce Females.
1. Christie Myers, a Michigan transplant, ended up in Dallas by pure luck. She moved her finger in a circular motion on a map and, when she stopped, Dallas was the closest metropolitan area. She started off working for the Dallas Regional Chamber before moving on to a short stint at Dallas ISD. Now she’s an integral member of District 10 Councilman Adam McGough’s AllInD10 Collective Impact initiative. Myers also helped start the Mayor’s Rising Star Council, which teaches high school students leadership skills, and is working to open a comprehensive health clinic in South Dallas. The key to her work, she says, is consistency. “We can do work in and out, in and out, but when we don’t keep showing up, that’s when it matters.” Read the full story here.
2. Stephanie Giddens thought she had her future mapped out. She, along with her husband and kids, planned to move to Rwanda six years ago, assimilate and launch a social business that would employ women and teach them skills to help them out of poverty. But 24 hours before their shipment was set to travel overseas, the plans fell through. Giddens still wanted to help women in some way, though. So she opened Vickery Trading Company in 2016, where she trains mainly Middle Eastern refugee women to be seamstresses while immersing them in the English language and helping them gain financial stability. “We don’t lift them out of poverty, we help them climb themselves out.” Read the full story here.
3. April Wallace knows barbering is more than just a means to look good. It’s also a means to a better life. The Hamilton Park native used the trade, along with her business skills, to restart her life when she was released from prison in 2010 after serving 10 years for drug charges. Now, the businesswoman is looking to expand her beauty trade school empire to help women adjust to life on their own after incarceration or an escape from domestic violence. When she’s not in the barber shop or taking online classes, Wallace volunteers with Exodus Ministries, which helps ex-offenders develop life and money skills and reconnect with their children. She also helps the area’s homeless. Read the full story here.
4. Suzanne Massey has always had a passion for community service. Whether it was participating in junior league, a sorority event or addressing walkability and access to education in Dallas, she’s made sure to do what she can to give back. Massey left her position as director of community relations at SMU last year to take on a new challenge as a vice president at Santander Consumer USA Foundation, which invests in agencies and organizations looking to create change in their respective communities. As a vice president, Massey has a say in which organizations the foundation will fund and where to direct the pledged $2 million in investments throughout different communities this year. Read the full story here.
5. Cheryl Gorvie never served as a pastor before she was called to Bethany Lutheran Church. She was fresh out of seminary and living in her hometown of Longview when she was called to lead the 75-member congregation which had seen better days. For the prior 15 to 20 years, the church couldn’t keep a pastor for more than three years. Looking back, Gorvie sees this as a red flag, but she’s the pastor that broke the pattern. From the beginning, she told congregation members she wanted to stay with the church and that they would have to work together to make that happen. Almost nine years later, the congregation and its members have improved relationships with one another, created Bible study and brunch groups, and continue to give back to their community. Read the full story here.