Success isn’t just about what you accomplish in your life; it’s about what you inspire others to do.
Since the inception of our Inspire Atlanta program in 2018, we have seen more than 180 women through this program. Over the course of the five-month initiative, Inspire Atlanta participants attend several required sessions and have the option to attend many more optional sessions to enhance their experience. In that time, they explore their core values, network with fellow community leaders, develop a broader understanding of the issues Atlanta’s women and girls face and garner support for these issues through a fundraising campaign for our grantmaking. We want to take a minute to highlight one of our outstanding 2023 Inspire Atlanta participants by letting you hear her own words.
Hello, my name is Pam Duerod and I want to thank you for allowing me to share something so dear to my heart.
Click to watch the video about MY WHY https://vimeo.com/806609893
The Atlanta Women’s Foundation (AWF) is uniquely positioned to address the barriers that women and girls in poverty face, like access to life skills, education, workforce opportunities and mental and physical wellbeing. They do this to help break the generational cycle of poverty and inequities, while creating a safe place to live and support economically self-sufficient, successful lifestyles. Of the hundreds of thousands of women and girls living in Atlanta, nearly 25% of them are living below the poverty line. The Atlanta Women’s Foundation (AWF) is the only public foundation solely dedicated to assisting women and girls.
Their mission resonates with me for many different reasons. I used to be like these women. I had my children at a young age, and it was difficult. There were many days when I chose not to eat, so the food would stretch longer for my children. Many days I felt stressed, hopeless, and defeated, and wondered how I would survive the next day. I did whatever it took. Sometimes that meant working 2-3 jobs while going to school and operating on less than 3 hours of sleep daily. I remember praying for programs similar to ones that the Atlanta Women’s Foundation supports, but they didn’t exist at that time. It was a humbling experience. I survived and made it through with only a few battle scars. Fast forward, years later. I’m in a better place and my children and I are thriving. Because of my experiences, there has always been a priority of mine to give back and serve the under-served communities.
I enjoy being the “boots-on- the-ground”, getting my hands dirty working and connecting with people. The recent negative shifts in the economy and the impact of COVID have made the need even greater. I want to do so much more. As one person, I’m limited, but my partnership with the Atlanta Women’s Foundation has giving me the ability to expand my impact. I’m so excited about that. I will continue to maintain a “boots-on-the-ground” presence, in addition to having a further reach that will allow me to be able to impact hundreds of women and girls through a multitude of organizations. That will bring peace and joy to my soul.