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Surprise, Surprise, this is an Empowerment in Action Statement

When We Decide, We Achieve
Surprise, Surprise, this is an Empowerment in Action Statement
Surprise, Surprise, this is an Empowerment in Action Statement

When the world seemed to pause, filled with uncertainty and isolation, something truly inspiring happened during a simple Zoom call. Amidst the global pandemic, three best friends from Berlin, Germany; Avon, Connecticut, USA; and Miami, Florida, USA connected over screens that couldn’t diminish the warmth of our years-long friendship and shared dreams. United by a deep bond of sisterhood, we found ourselves not just dreaming but ready to act.

As we talked about our lives, the struggles of being of first-generation immigrants, careers, and hopes during those virtual meetings, a spark of an idea suddenly came to life: “Let’s add ‘Dr.’ to our names.” It was more than just a fleeting thought; it was a declaration of our dedication to chase the dreams we had spoken of so often. Together, we made a heartfelt pact to embark on a journey of self-improvement, navigating the complexities of immigration and education to pursue our doctorates. It was a promise to ourselves and each other that despite the chaos around us, we were going to rise and grow together.

True to our word and embodying the spirit of the phrase, “When we say it, we will do it,” we embarked on our doctoral journeys. We returned to square one and started as fresh students with a hunger for knowledge.

The significance of our decision became even more poignant when, almost as if by design, we achieved a milestone this week: we each graduated within days of each other—three days apart, to be precise. This wasn’t just a series of events; it was proof of our dedication and the power of setting a collective goal. Each graduation marked an academic achievement and a milestone that brought us closer to our doctoral degrees.

This story is a powerful reminder of what can be achieved when women support each other and commit to their goals. It illustrates that barriers can be broken and that goals are attainable with determination and mutual support, no matter how ambitious. We demonstrated that real empowerment is more than just an idea—it’s about taking bold, collective actions that bring our aspirations to life. That is why you need people around you who will lift you up, who will hype you, boost your confidence, support you. That is why you need boundaries with people who make you stressed, anxious, or try to take you down or want to be the center of attention only.

Our journey is far from over, but each step forward is a step toward personal achievement and inspiring a broader audience. It sends a clear message to other women and girls worldwide: Educational and personal growth knows no bounds, and when motivated women come together, the impact can be monumental.

In celebrating these achievements, we see more than just academic success; we see a great motivation for all women striving to reach their potential. This story is not just about adding ‘Dr.’ to our names; it’s about setting an example of what can be accomplished when you say you will do something and then do it with all your heart.

We set a clear goal: by 2030, we would each have ‘PhD,’ ‘DBA,’ or PsyD’ before our names. We crafted a plan, zeroed in on our focus, and diligently followed through with it. The plan is shifting and changing in time but we are doing it well enough, as a result, we have milestones to celebrate. Such as this week.

But there are some things better to mention.

As we continue our journey, the importance of dedication, time management, and the joy of learning become more clear.

Mastering these skills is perhaps the best thing one can do for oneself. The desire to learn, the willingness to commit, and the enjoyment of acquiring new knowledge are crucial. Above all, the most significant aspect is the impact created by sharing this knowledge and supporting each other.

Our story is not just a tale of personal success; it’s a powerful lesson in creating waves of change that ripple through communities, inspiring countless others to dream, do, and thrive together.

We are Pınar, Zeynep, and Ayşin – the three founders of She.Work, our impactful social responsibility, and philanthropy initiative. Today, at the age of 50+, we celebrate another significant milestone in our audacious journey.

If you’re wondering why we embarked on this journey, here’s our why:

We did this because we want to understand education in America better so we can help our children, the people around us, and the communities that we are trying to belong in a more informed way.

Because we believe in the power of education and real experiences. Only by truly desiring to experience can you learn. Living it lets you confidently advise your family and others, knowing what you are talking about.

Additionally, understanding inclusion is essential, especially for first-generation immigrants who do not belong to an alumni group or sorority. Only those who have felt the need for inclusion can truly understand its importance. Experiencing things by being included is important; that’s why we do this. Reading and searching are good, but doing things is the best way to learn.

That’s how we can become positive role models and inspire other people. Sharing the knowledge will change the world. When we learn more, we can share more with the people we connect with. They can be our families, neighbors, classmates, work colleagues, our mentees, and anyone we cross pathways in our lives.

In short, putting our graduation gowns on as symbols of our fearless spirit, we walked onto the stage with immense pride. May is graduation month, and the programs that were already finished months ago are celebrated this week. By the way, we have already started on the next phase and are still studying.

Our journey has taught us many valuable lessons; here are some highlights, enriched with a bit more insight:

  • Above all else, strive to be kind. Kindness is the most essential virtue in a world where you can be anything.
  • Never claim you don’t have time for education. You do. Everyone has the same 24 hours—use yours wisely, plan effectively, and prioritize learning.
  • Love and embrace everyone openly and sincerely. Extend your warmth and openness to all, welcoming them with open arms and heart.
  • Don’t let social media consume your precious time. Instead, devote moments to enriching your mind. Become familiar at your local library and let books be your companions.
  • Believe in your potential. You have incredible capabilities waiting to be unleashed.
  • Commit to learning something new every day. Knowledge is infinite, and every piece you acquire shapes you.
  • Set an example of positivity. Your attitude can inspire others to adopt a more optimistic outlook.
  • Always strive to do your best, pushing yourself to excel in whatever you undertake.
  • Most importantly, remember to give back generously. True fulfillment comes from giving wholeheartedly and making a difference in the lives of others.
  • And be you. Whole you!

These principles define our perspective and inspire positivity and change in the many people around us—our children, our relatives, and the young mentees we support.

We share knowledge and experiences and support women of every age, color, pronoun, and religion because we believe that we are stronger together and that changing one woman’s life can change the lives of her entire family and future generations. Don’t forget that it doesn’t matter where you come from; the most important thing is where you want to go.

Because we, as girls of every age, should stand tall and hold each other’s hands as we strive to change the world.

Trust us; if we can do it, you can also do it!

Sending pure love to our readers.

Pınar & Zeynep & Ayşin