Tonight’s post is about the miraculous people all around us and was written by our Gainesville and Lawrenceville family law attorney, Jennifer Thuy-Tien McCall.
Last Tuesday night, I stood in a hallway, the first in a line of 16 women and one little girl, and breathed out slowly while counting, trying not to panic. I can speak in front of a judge or jury any day and I delivered the commencement speech at my law school graduation, but the thought of walking down the runway in a country club ballroom packed with women was nearly too much for me.
How in the world did this 5’2″ woman get selected as a model in a fashion show? I am honored to say that I was selected as a community hero in an annual event hosted by a local nonprofit organization, WomenSource, Inc. I am also proud to say that my firm, The Manely Firm, P.C., helped to sponsor the event.
Being a part of this program was life-changing. I had tea one day and then dinner another day with the most amazing group of women.
One woman brought Family Promise to my hometown. I volunteer with the program often and it was an honor to be in close conversation with the woman who works in our community to house and feed the homeless.
The directors of My Sister’s Place, a women’s homeless shelter, and Habitat for Humanity were also among the group. The first female officer for Hall County Fire Services and a woman sportscaster, women who are excelling in male-dominated fields, were also models.
Georgia’s number one Assistant District Attorney, a woman who started the first bilingual newspaper in Hall County, an oncology nurse, leaders from local universities, cancer survivors, and a woman who donated a pet park to the local hospital were all being honored as well. A woman who started a cancer support group took my hand and told me that she had been blessed by cancer.
I laughed and cried a lot while spending time with these amazing women. The best part, and the part that caused me to shed the most tears, was when a sweet little seven-year-old girl with cancer left her wheelchair and WALKED the runway with her amazing mother.
I was selected because, although I became pregnant at fifteen, with the help of my wonderful family I was able to still succeed in life. I went from a pregnant teen mom to president of my law school to successful family law attorney. I believe that what is appealing about my story is that it shows that you can overcome difficult circumstances, that it is not our situations that define us, but our ability to overcome them.
So here’s to the wonderful women with whom I was so fortunate to spend quality time, the Heroes of Gainesville, Hall County!
Jennifer Thuy-Tien McCall