Everyone has a story, each individual, brand, and company. This conversation is about that.
This woman is a powerhouse. She wasn't one to sit and wait for life to open a door for her, she gathered her courage and created the right opportunities, just by being herself - by knowing she wanted something more - something more than she was 'promised'.
It might seem easy for us to say, "Go do it." I've talked about that before - the people who say "go do it" often seem so removed from the questions and worries of the people they are shouting at. Here's the key, sometimes, "go do it" means, learn how.
Ellen and I have similar mindsets, that 'just go do it' doesn't mean jump in the deep end with floaters, if you can't swim yet. It means, use the floaters, study, become the person you want to be, and never stop learning. Then, share. Ellen is phenomenal at the sharing part.
But, it didn't come easy! Her upbringing in a strict Greek family was a source of challenge for her. Girls were not encouraged to seek higher education and careers, or vocalize opinions. Compelled to encourage future generations of girls and her own daughters to dream big, she created Girls Know How® books, a national award-winning series that encourages girls to explore and pursue the careers of their dreams. For over a decade, Ellen has spoken and written regularly as a youth career education advocate and leads free career adventure workshops for girls and boys throughout the country. Girls Know How was named a Vision 2020 Women 100 Proud Partner, and Ellen serves as a Vision 2020 Delegate for the Keystone State, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment and advocating for women’s equality.
This phenomenal woman is active in her community where she volunteers and provides pro bono work for organizations, including the Alzheimer's Association of Delaware Valley, Girls Inc., Miss America's Outstanding Teen and Wings for Success. All of those are impressive, but you know my heart is with the Alzheimer's Association. My Dad suffered from that terrible disease for so many years, and I am all about helping discover a way to cure that illness.
Here's an interesting fun fact about Ellen -
...notably, after 30 years, she remains “the voice of QVC.” Ellen and her husband live in the Philadelphia suburbs, and she has two grown daughters and two stepsons, all who follow their dreams!
You need to watch and pay close attention at 12:15. The story gets good there.
Let me also say this conversation brought back a lot of memories for me. Memories of growing up in the sixties and not knowing what to do with myself. I wanted to be a writer, but that wasn't an option I had, back then. I did other things, but in my heart, writing never went away. Learn how Ellen took charge, by turning the page in the Sunday paper, and changed her life dramatically.
We didn't mention all of Ellen's awards, though she has many, because that's not what she's about. She's about working with girls, and boys, building confidence, helping them achieve their dreams, and sharing her story with the world. A story of triumph. A story of delight. A story of courage and accomplishment. A story of a woman who shines like a movie star, with a smile big enough to dazzle the dreariest rainy day! The Girls Know How series is so perfect for her because she can teach us all something about "knowing how."
And now you know why I had to have her on Smart Women Conversations. Watch the video. Learn more of Ellen's story. We both hope you take away some insight or inspiration, to begin or continue sharing your story with the world.
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