This article was written by Sophie Ward and Elsa Christenson.
Helen Adams Keller was born on June 27, 1880. When she was 19 months old, she tragically lost her eyesight and hearing due to scarlet fever. Several years later, Alexander Graham Bell, creator of the first telephone, found a teacher for Keller. This meant that Keller could learn how to communicate and get an education, even though she was blind and deaf. The first word that Keller ever spelled was water, after she ran her hands under a water pump outside. Many years later, Helen Keller became the first deafblind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. During her life she wrote a total of 14 autobiographies about her life and struggles. Helen Keller to this day remains a shining beacon to many in the deaf and blind community.
Oprah Winfrey is a strong woman who has changed the course of history through speeches. As a teen, Winfrey went through a lot of sexual abuse. Today, she speaks out very strongly against abuse, and encourages teens who have gone through the same thing. Winfrey is now the first black woman to become a billionaire and is the richest woman ever. In 2013, Winfrey was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama. This medal is the highest award a U.S. citizen can have. Winfrey also has her own pizza company called O, that’s good! Here and now, Oprah Winfrey is changing lives through sharing her experiences.
Mother Teresa is…well, a mother figure to many, even though she died nearly 25 years ago. Starting at the age of 12, Teresa loved the work of missionaries and knew that she wanted to be one. Mother Teresa’s dad passed when she was young, and when she left to work in a high school, she never saw her mother or sister again. Mother Teresa (known as Sister Teresa at the time) began teaching at St. Mary’s, a high school for the daughters of the wealthy. She remained there for 15 years, but was disturbed by all the poverty she saw around her and the school. After her teaching, she knew that she was being called somewhere else. “I heard the call to give up and follow Christ into the slums to serve him and among the poorest of the poor.” When she died in 1997 of a heart attack, many were devastated and that day, the whole world mourned for the loss of one of the most influential women in the world.
Rosa Parks was a well known Black rights activist that lived from 1913 to 2005. She was most known for her bus boycott that she started when she refused to give up her seat on the public bus to a white man during segregation. She later stated herself that she intended to simply spark a one-day boycott but it ended up lasting an entire year! Before the day on the bus and her life as an activist, she was a Sexual Assault Investigator, helping to make sure that black people who have been sexually assaulted have their say in court.
Anne Frank was one of the 6 million Jewish people that died in the Holocaust. She was the author of The Diary Of Anne Frank which is arguably the most famous diary of all time. When Frank was around 13 years old, she and her family were led into hiding from the Nazis that stormed their area. They hid for an entire 761 days. Years later, Anne Frank and her older sister Margot died in a concentration camp due to an illness called typhus.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Elizabeth Cady Stanton was a strongly supportive feminist that was alive back in the mid and later 1800s. When we take a look into her life, we see that her passion for women’s rights sparked when she was just a child. It sparked when she witnessed the horrible limits to the rights of women in court. After that, when she was much older, Stanton wrote many of Susan B. Anthony’s Women’s Rights speeches, and she was, in fact, the first woman to run for Congress. Another remarkable thing that Stanton did, or tried to do, was offering to donate her brain to science so she could prove wrong the claims on how the shape and size of men’s brains made them more intelligent than women.
These six women along with other women such as Simone Biles, J.K. Rowling, Susan B. Anthony, Maya Angelou, and Amelia Earhart, prove that women can be smart, brave, strong, and resourceful just like men. Today, we can change strength and turn it into something better: unity. Will you take that step and change the world?