My eighth grade math teacher, Jennifer Schultz. She not only was an amazing math teacher — who despite me being horrible in math that year gave me my love for math — but she inspired me to continue on to become a math teacher. Although I have changed career paths now, she is still there. She is also the reason I chose the path of service to my community. She introduced me to the fire service by telling stories about her experience as a volunteer firefighter and gave me my love for the fire department as well. She is such an inspiration to me. A teacher, a firefighter, a mom, and an incredible human being. I hope someday to become even half the woman she is. It’s been (dare I say) fifteen years since I sat in her class and I still think about it all the time. I know she has and still does make a difference to many students and people in her community just as she did for me.
I like to think I act as a role model for other women especially young girls. I have gone outside the norm to work as a woman in a male-dominated field. When someone finds out I work for the fire department, their first question is always "What do you do there?" and I tell them "I’m a firefighter." I want to show other girls that not only can we work in such fields but that we can be successful doing so. We encounter girls at career day events or public education events, and I love to hear them say they want to be firefighters! I always tell them they can absolutely do it and to not give up on their dream to do so.