The Strongest Woman I Know
Since the beginning of time, whether given credit then or not, women have been the backbone of humanity. In every role, at every moment in history, and everywhere in the world, women contribute to the progression of our very existence and transform the future and quality of life.
What’s so special about being a woman? Everything – from being primary caretakers, leading political revolutions, birthing generations, to leading global organizations and beyond.
Join us in support of #StrongestWomanIKnow #SWIK
This year and years to follow, we want to show our appreciation to women trailblazers. Despite negative impacts from personal, economic, political, and societal events, women have demonstrated unmatched perseverance and strength. Citizant employees have shared the Strongest Woman They Know with us, so we’d like to share those submissions with the world. Please join us in honoring these extraordinary women.
Born and raised in Kazakhstan, Russia, Tatyana received her degree in music and dance and later became The “Prima” ballerina of the Russian Ballet. For over 25 years, she has become a mentor to so many children and young adults in not only the dance and music realm, but overall all as she founded the first private K-11 school in Kazakhstan. From being a laureate at international competitions to owning a well-decorated dance academy in Detroit, all while preserving through the transition to a foreign country, Tatyana has made such a positive and memorable impact on so many lives that proves she is the #StrongestWomanIKnow.
Janet Del Re
The strongest woman I know is Jeannette Del Re, my wife of 42 years. After traveling all over the world with her Navy father, she then travelled all over the world with me from Army duty station to Army duty station. She raised two children doing the girl scouts, soccer, baseball, softball mom activities mostly alone as I was either deployed or on Temporary Duty. She obtained her degree little by little at various duty stations, finally graduating 17 years after we got married. She then began a teaching career. Watched her children graduate from college and raise their own children. She is now battling and beating breast cancer. Hopefully this new challenge in her life will be over by the summer of 2023.
Marlena, Sophia & Eliza Schoppert
Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength. – Mahatma Gandhi
My daughters are beautiful to the core and epitomize Gandhi’s words. Each has done amazing things in their short lives – education, career, and/or motherhood – but their true inner strength has come through the unique adversity or challenges they have faced. These real-life female superheroes use their own experiences to inspire others when they share their stories of courage, perseverance, and love. These strong sisters are rooted in faith, fiercely loyal to friends and family, and have so much light to continue to shine in the world!
My mother was a single mother who had me at 25 years old. At 30, she began working for the City of New York DOT as a meter maid, then elevated to a Lieutenant in Traffic Enforcement when they merged with NYPD. After 25 years with NYPD, I had to retire her here in Georgia due to an aneurysm rupture in her brain – the surgeons said if it wasn’t for her mental and physical strength, she would not have made it. To still have her on this earth is a true blessing after being left with dementia – God can do anything. After living with me 14 years and dealing with some tough days, we’re still together trying to make memories that will last a lifetime. My mom taught me true love and sacrifice and I’ve followed in her steps since I had my children. She is the ultimate strongest woman I know.
Michelle graduated a year early from high school and left home to pursue college when she was 16. Michelle accomplished an Associates degree, 2 bachelor degrees, and a master’s degree as a recently married woman and new mother. At the age of 34 she is entering a PhD program and is the mother of 3 young children. Michelle is also the owner and CEO of 2 active Occupational Therapy offices that are among the very few rehabilitation options for degenerative conditions in western New York. She has an online following of over 13,000 practitioners and students where she seeks to create a stronger reputation for occupational therapy. She is a published author and has ongoing influence in the training and promotion of occupational therapy in third-world countries where this training is still in its infancy. Michelle is a daughter, wife, and mom. Her life is different, and time is cherished for her. I know I could not make the sacrifices she has chosen to make. However, she has a vision to see those impaired neurologically through stroke or other brain diseases regain their lost abilities, and she’s realizing her vision.
My little sister Aisha is the strongest woman I know – she’s strong just like my mother was. For the past few years, my mother has been really ill and my little sister stayed by her side through thick and thin. She went above and beyond to care for our mother. My beautiful sister worked a full-time job, continued to care for and raise her five-year-old son, and still prioritized our mother’s needs until she gained her wings in December 2022. To me, Aisha is a big sister and I look up to her in every way possible. When things were hard she always brought all of us together as a family. I can’t imagine how many times that I tell her “I love you” on a daily basis. My sister is the strongest woman I know, she has the biggest heart in the world, and is always there for me and my brother.
Alba continually pours into the lives of her team, and collectively, we’d like to express our gratitude and appreciation for our fearless leader. Being present and making herself available while juggling never-ending tasks is what truly sets Alba apart from other CEOs – she knows her team, empowers us, and values all of our individual contributions while running a remarkable company. It’s safe to say the Alba is one of the strongest, bravest, and most caring women we know.
Camila Cruz Hernandez
She was strong in the face of poverty, adversity, family struggles, and serious health issues. She was my guardian angel as a child growing up in Miami. She protected me and showered me with endless and unconditional love during the best and the worst of times. She BELIEVED in me! She also saved me when I was in my third year of college. I was working 4 jobs and maxed out on student loans and grants. I was also out of money to pay for tuition and running out of time to pull the money together. She pulled $5,000 out from her mattress (her entire life savings!) and gave it to me so that I wouldn’t have to drop out and come home. She never asked for that money back. Never said a word. Just continued to believe that I could make a difference.
My mom is by far the strongest woman I know – mentally, spiritually and perhaps even physically. So whenever I hear fight like a girl, I think to myself “They don’t know my mom.”
My mom, an army wife of 32 years who made 27 moves alongside my Dad, is an inspiration! Losing her own mother at a young age and being oceans away from her family and friends for much of her adult life, she made the best of every situation, home, and country we were stationed in. And, she always impressed these values on my sister and me – care for family, service to others, and devotion to faith. Love you, Mom!
Yolanda Yao Gentry
Raised 5 daughters on her own by working around the clock and never once complained. She is the strongest, fiercest, kindest, and unapologetic 3’11″ Flip (aka Filipino) I know.
Citizant’s very own, Rica, became the first African American woman to hold the rank of Major in the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office, serving as the jail commander. We’re proud to have this strong woman influence and impact not only her family and Citizant, but the greater community.
My nana is the strongest woman I know. Not only did she raise three children, but she stepped up to help raise my brother and I as well. She worked harder than most people I know and is a great example of the type of woman I want to become. She’s an avid golfer and mahjong player, strongest (and my favorite) woman ever.