WE GIVE BAGS TO AMAZING WOMEN. NOMINATE SOMEONE TODAY! WE GIVE BAGS TO AMAZING WOMEN. NOMINATE SOMEONE TODAY!

WE GIVE BAGS TO AMAZING WOMEN. NOMINATE SOMEONE TODAY!

Through our It's Not About the Bag program, we’re on a mission to celebrate women who impact the world in positive ways through their service, strength, kindness, tenacity and love. With your nominations, we’ll gift women Consuela bags to both celebrate AND remind them of the good they bring to all of us as we journey through life.

Nominate someone who inspires you—maybe she’s strong and brave. Perhaps she’s creative and hilarious. Maybe she’s overcome difficult circumstances or has helped you through your own. Whoever the woman, whatever her story, we want to hear it!

We receive a lot of nominations (YAY!) so every month we honor a number of nominees with a fabulously curated gift package and feature them on our website and social channels.

Nominate Someone

Allison R

Dallas, Texas
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Allison is the newly promoted Director for Global Preparedness and Response for Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and was nominated by her husband, Daniel. In her role at SMU, she is charged with ensuring the safety of university students.  She is also lifelong Girl Scout and received the prestigious Girl Scout Gold Award; A springboard for her future achievements and philanthropy. 

When Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc on her hometown Houston, Allison hit the ground running, organizing donations of goods worth over $20,000 for Houston-area women through her #PackaPurse project. She drove into the hurricane-ravaged city to deliver personal items to women who had lost everything.

Allison’s latest mission was born after the Sandy Hook tragedy as she witnessed the impact therapy dogs had on all involved.  Then, as a Police wife, she was shattered by the tragic events on 7/7/16 when five Dallas Police Officers were ambushed and murdered at a peaceful protest. Allison and her golden retriever, Brisbane, who was not yet certified as a therapy dog, sprang into action, heading to the Dallas Police Department to comfort the officers. The impact was immediate, and the plan was solidified. Brisy completed his certification in 2018, and Allison founded the therapy group, “Brisy's Bowties” (https://www.facebook.com/bowtiebrisy/). Today the group has grown to almost two dozen therapy dogs who regularly visit police stations, schools, hospitals, nursing homes, wherever they’re needed. 

Daniel shares, “Allison is an amazing woman because she has found so many ways to touch so many lives positively - whether that be education, donations, volunteering, safety planning, or providing for someone’s emotional welfare through the healing power of a dog’s love.”

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Donna D.

Alpharetta, Georgia
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Donna is a Nurse Educator in Alpharetta, Georgia, and was nominated by one of her nursing students, Linda. Donna was the Clinical Instructor to Linda’s nursing class, and Linda says, she “shared her expertise, her nursing intuition, and her deep love of helping people. Donna nurtured us as we started, all the way telling us she was cultivating future colleagues and that she looked forward to working with us.”⁠

Donna is truly one-of-a-kind in her dedication to her students.  This group of students, nicknamed the Gems, bonded like family under the leadership and guidance of their mentor. Linda continues, “Donna has suited us well for a profession that is all about responsibility and giving 100% every day so others may have a better quality of life. She put in tireless hours, not only supervising our actions but also being present right at the bedside, showing us what it means to see the little things and make a difference for patients.” 

All the “Gems” in her class make up a mighty beautiful crown for Viva Babe Donna.  And, she keeps earning her jewels as she continues to mentor future nursing students and develop empathetic, proficient, dedicated nurses.  Donna is a shining example of devotion and lives by her words, “Kindness always wins.” 

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Aliana

El Paso, Texas
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Aliana lives in El Paso, Texas, and was nominated by one of her employees, Alyssa. Aliana is a motivational speaker, business consultant, and coach. Through her company, Positive Directions, she helps people, organizations, and communities inspire change. In addition, she started two major conferences that take place every year, the Southwest Women’s Leadership Conference and the Administrative Professionals Conference. Alyssa shares the impact Aliana has had on her and over 1,600 women a year, as she “empowers women not only in the workplace but more importantly, in their everyday lives.” 

Incredibly giving, Aliana also founded ‘Christmas Cheer’ 15 years ago, an annual event attended by more than 150 underprivileged Head Start children, coming together for a day of fun and laughter. Each child is given a gift card and a shopping extravaganza, and the day wraps up with a festive pizza party. 

Aliana’s devotion does not go unnoticed; She was awarded a 2019 Women of Impact Award by El Paso, Inc., and in 2018, Aliana received the 1st Annual Woman in Business Lifetime Achievement Award by the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce.  ⁠

Encore! Encore! Aliana, your incredible talent to energize others and inspire change is remarkable. Thank you for using your gifts to lift the world!

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Debbie F.

Buda, Texas
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Debbie is a full-time volunteer and lives in Buda, TX. Debbie was nominated by Audrey, who works for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, where Debbie also volunteers. Both Debbie’s children have Cystic Fibrosis. Tragically, Debbie lost her daughter, Amberlynn, to Cystic Fibrosis 7 years ago at the age of 22. Before she passed away, she was in the hospital frequently and spent many Christmases hospitalized. Over the years, Amberlynn witnessed other hospitalized children going without Christmas presents, which devastated her. So, she started Amber’s Angels 15 years ago, with the mission to bring Christmas to these young patients, gifting local hospitalized children with presents. Amberlynn found purpose and direction in Gandhi’s wise words, “…be the difference you want to see in the world.”


Audrey shares, “When Amberlynn passed, Debbie was determined to keep her memory alive by continuing the good work of Amber’s Angels. Debbie dedicated almost all of her time to collecting and distributing toys year-round to Dell Children’s Hospital and the San Antonio Children’s Hospital.  However, Debbie does not get recognized for her good work nearly as much as she should. She truly deserves to be recognized and pampered. She is kind, caring, modest, and has made an impact on countless kids’ lives.” 


Viva Babe Debbie, we appreciate you for all you do!  Your dedication and generosity are nothing short of remarkable. 


To learn more about Amber’s Angels, https://www.ambers-angels.org/⁠

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Wanda

Austin, Texas
Read Story

Wanda is a middle school counselor in Austin, TX, and was nominated by her husband, Chris. As a school counselor for the past 12 years, Wanda offers compassion, guidance, and support to pre-teens during a super awkward time in their lives. Her energy and charisma are remarkable (as we witnessed first-hand with a spontaneous dance party in her school room)! Her incredible passion for counseling doesn’t go unnoticed; she was named Counselor of the Year for Austin ISD in May of this year! Woo Hoo!


Beyond a school counselor, Wanda is so many things! She is a great mom. She is also a licensed professional counselor (LPCS), training the next generation of counselors and a Licensed Art Therapist Supervisor (ATR/BC/S), training the next generation of art therapists. And recently, she and her dog, Chango, were certified for animal-assisted play therapy.  Chris shares, “She's generous, kind, loving, and thoughtful with all of these things. Oh, and she's an epic artist.” Her public art is visible all over Austin. Her murals adorn the walls and exteriors of her school and public parks. Wanda led the Deep Eddy mosaic mural project, a 4-year project where citizens from all over the city created individual hand-made tiles to form a 1200 square foot mosaic. These iconic murals beautify as well as create connections between the many participants and the community. 

KAPOW! ALL THE THINGS! Wanda, your drive to be a positive force and to brighten your corner through your gifts of love, laughter, and epic artistry inspire us!  Your Viva Babe light is brightly shining!

View Wanda's epic art:
http://www.communityarttherapy.com⁠

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Michelle V.

Norton, Ohio
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Michelle lives in Norton, OH, and was nominated by her sister, Christina. Michelle raised two beautiful kids singlehandedly. Michelle’s daughter, Paige, found herself pregnant at 17. Christina shares, “we rallied around my niece and gave her the love and support that she needed. My sister always made sure Paige knew how loved she and her baby were and she helped her navigate the very difficult decision to place her son for adoption.” Shortly after the adoption, Paige joined the Air Force, as she wanted to do something meaningful with her life. She was the first woman in her family to serve. During basic training, Paige fell deathly ill. Devastatingly, she passed away two weeks after completion. Christina continues, “I saw Michelle die just a little bit during that time.”⠀

Paige lived and loved deeply, and Michelle wanted to honor her daughter's life and memory. “That's how her mind works, if there is a mountain, she navigates around it, if there is a river, she builds a bridge, always finding hope in hopeless situations. And so, the PAIGE Foundation was born! Pregnancy Adoption Information Guidance & Education ...P.A.I.G.E.,” says Christina. The foundation serves birth moms with assistance and support throughout their journey.

Not only does Michelle work tirelessly running the PAIGE Foundation, but she also works full-time, and is finishing her college degree after 35 years.  She will graduate this Spring with an Arts & Sciences Degree, plus she is an incredible writer. One day she hopes to write a memoir.⠀ ⠀

Michelle, we are in awe of your courage and tenacity. Thank you for embracing hope and empowering others. Paige’s light continues to shine.

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Terri K.

Bedford, Texas
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Terri lives in Bedford, TX, is a single mom and a dedicated teacher, and was nominated by her good friend, Melissa. Teaching for more than 30 years, she has been an incredible mentor to so many students in her community. Melissa shares, “She has been a high school swim coach, taught dance, speech, PE, and health, and developed a Walk, Jog, Run class for Grapevine Colleyville ISD.  She has been her school’s Student Council sponsor for many years,” where she guides and imparts her wisdom on young leaders. ⁠

Terri’s dedication and leadership have been crucial to the success of her Student Council’s annual Color Run, benefitting O.U.R. (Operation Underground Railroad), a non-profit formed to rescue children from human trafficking. For the last five years, Terri has supported the efforts of her students in their pursuit to spread awareness and work to eradicate human trafficking. This year’s Color Run is set for November 2, 2019. ⁠

Melissa continues, “She does not meet a stranger. You can’t go anywhere in the local community without a student or parent calling her name to say hello. She has made so many personal relationships and is loved by all!” 

Terri, your influence and mentorship have positively shaped so many young lives. Thank you for radiating your rays of leadership and love. 

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Cindy M.

San Antonio, Texas
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Cindy is an Insurance Adjuster in San Antonio, TX, and was nominated by her sister, Kathy. As a single mom, working full-time and caring for her two children, Cindy fell ill inexplicably, eventually requiring oxygen at the age of 43. For four years she underwent numerous tests with no diagnosis. Finally, last year one of her 15 doctors noted something unusual in a blood test and determined she has Mitochondrial Syndrome, a genetic disorder that occurs when the mitochondria of the cell fail to produce enough energy for cell or organ function. Kathy shares, “so essentially my sister has been diagnosed with a terminal illness for which there is NO cure but only management of symptoms. My sister has come to terms with her mortality and continues to do as much as she can to help others.” 


Cindy prioritizes helping and bringing joy to others. Even in the middle of her illness, Cindy cared for Kathy for almost a year when Kathy was hospitalized with a severe sickness. She would visit Kathy multiple times every day, before work, lunchtime, after work, and more. Kathy emphasizes the impact Cindy has on her life, "she is my ROCK, and If it weren't for her strength and faith, I wouldn't have had the will to live." Cindy also sprinkles kindness daily with customers and coworkers, she "continually helps her coworkers celebrate different milestones, and she gets up every day and pushes herself to help others.” 

With resolve and a captivating smile, Cindy mentions, “there’s no time to cry. I am a stronger person because of my illness.”


We see you, Cindy. We are thankful for you and for all the goodness you bring. Your zest for life inspires us to live each day fully and to share kindness and love along the way.

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Jean D.

Nacogdoches, Texas
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Jean is the definition of ridiculously awesome! She is a retired Pediatric Cardiac Care Respiratory Therapist who lives in Nacogdoches, TX, and was nominated by her daughter, Heather. In 1984, Jean’s first grandchild tragically passed away at 5 ½ months old after contracting Legionnaire’s, a respiratory disease. Out of her grief and her determination to honor her granddaughter, Jean decided to enroll in college and become a respiratory and cardiac therapist. She wore a laminated photograph of her granddaughter on the back of her hospital badge every day for her 30-year career. She has since retired, but you can still find her helping families with children afflicted with respiratory diseases, even once driving 10 hours to donate blood to a toddler receiving a transplant. Heather shares, “she chose to work in a department where life expectancy was minimal, and she did so to show hope and purpose to desperate families.” 
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To add to her awesomeness, she’s embraced her late husband’s adopted daughter, Jennifer, whom the family had not seen for over 30 years. Jean has welcomed Jennifer into the family with open, loving arms and includes her as one of her own. Heather is thankful she “has a new sister” and Jean says, “you don’t have to give birth to a child for her to be mine. For Jennifer to call me ‘mom’ is such an honor.” 

Always generous with her time, Jean learned to use an iMac in her 70's so she could serve as secretary of her quilt guild.  Plus, she volunteers to cook for college students at her church, organizes family donations to support a community yard sale to send a group on a mission trip to Haiti, and sends handwritten cards and notes of encouragement to those who cross her path or her heart. 
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Jean, you inspire us with your generosity and your incredible gift to transform grief and darkness into hope and light!

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Heather E.

Minneapolis, Minnesota
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Heather is a business analyst in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She was nominated by long-time friend and former employee, Barb. The magic started when Heather managed a showroom for Dept. 56 and she “served as a kind of Den Mother to the many creative, whacky and wonderful designers,” says Barb. After the business sold, the employees scattered, but “Heather is the beacon of light that keeps us all coming back for little mini-reunions.” ⠀
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Two years ago, Heather was diagnosed with stage 3 Endometrial/Uterine cancer. Heather faced down cancer with determination and heart. Barb continues, she battled cancer “with courage, yes, but also amazing humor. Heather is known for her fabulous sense of humor!” ⠀
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With her unstoppable spirit, even during her illness, Heather started a Bassett rescue and has fostered over 15 Bassett Hounds and rescued over 25 dogs of various breeds. We can hear the Bassetts baying with joy!
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Barb reiterates, “We all adore Heather, but more so, she has given so much to us all with her example of courage, grace and unselfish gifts of HER time and HER energy.” ⁠⠀
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Today, Heather proudly proclaims she is cancer-free, with no evidence of disease (NED)! She shares her story to help her cope and to raise awareness, explaining, “these cancers don’t get much press or research funding and the treatment protocols are arduous.” Yet, Viva Babe Heather prevails! 
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Heather, you are a spark of love and light! Thank you for all the good you give!

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Mikayla

Brooklyn, New York
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Mikayla is a young professional, working for a large International Engineering firm in the financial district in Manhattan. She was nominated by her mom, Vickie, who shares, Mikayla is the “first person to complete college in my family. Our roots are in Kansas, but we moved as a family every two years during Mikayla’s middle and high school years. She developed a world view and never looked back. Her goal is to save the environment.” 

After high school, Mikayla moved away from home and to the Big Apple, earning her undergraduate degree from Columbia in 2014 in Environmental Engineering.  She continued her education part-time while working, earning a Masters in Mechanical Engineering in 2016. And this past spring, she realized her dream of teaching at Columbia! As an energy expert for an architecture class, she encouraged the students to think beyond the buildings and to consider the impact on urban surroundings.

Not only has she achieved so much at such a young age, but she is also working and thriving in a male-dominated profession. Her mom continues, Mikayla “does her best to be heard every day on the job and is the biggest go-getter. She inspires me daily in her seeking and accepting new challenges and ideas."⁠

Yessss! Oh, the places you will go, Mikayla! We are amazed and inspired by your journey! 

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Leticia

Chula Vista, California
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Leticia is a Lecturer at San Diego State who has dedicated her life to her community. Nicole, her sister, and nominator says, Leticia “is a dynamic multi-talented leader whose work has had an impact on many people and in countless ways. She made the decision to be the voice of our community with a focus on affordable and debt-free community college, opportunities and support for all, and workforce preparation and pathways.” She’s involved in a myriad of local initiatives, including the development of the San Diego Rapid Response Network, dedicated to aiding immigrants and their families in the San Diego border region. As a community health expert, she has focused on healthcare opportunities in underrepresented and disadvantaged communities in San Diego, working to make healthcare accessible to all.  And, recently she ran for the Southwestern Community College Board, and after a year-long campaign, earned her seat, again committing to the people of her community. ⠀
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Nicole continues, “While the impact of my sister’s work is impressive, her current battle is what has inspired me the most.” As Leticia traveled to her first board meeting, she received a call from her doctor explaining that her yearly mammogram reflected devastating news, Stage 3c breast cancer. Nicole says, “To say the least, it was a cheap shot to the gut. However, what really inspires me is the way she has been able to take this news with a heart full of hope, a mind full of resolve, and a body full of fight! She walks in life with truth, vulnerability, authenticity, and courage.” ⁠⠀
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Leticia, you are a warrior, and you got this!  You will overcome, claim victory, and emerge stronger than before. Thank you for inspiring us to continue life’s journey with positivity and hope. 

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Sue W.

Western Springs, Illinois
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Sue lives in Western Springs, Illinois, and was nominated by her niece, Molly. Sue is a co-founder of The Children’s Medical Research Foundation (https://www.curekirby.org/), established to raise awareness and funding to support medical and scientific research for Sanfilippo Syndrome and other neurogenetic diseases afflicting children. Since 1995, she has raised more than FOUR MILLION dollars, and last year, her funding supported the start of gene therapy trials. Through Sue’s dedication, they are on the cusp of a cure!  Molly shares, “She has not only brought her mission to the footsteps of a cure but also has mentored many families around the country, if not the world, in joining the cause and forming their own foundations and fundraisers.” ⁠⠀
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Sue and her husband are the sole caregivers to her daughter, Kirby, who is afflicted with Sanfilippo Syndrome. They also raised an incredible daughter, Maggie, who is an awesome sister and now a mother herself. As Molly continues, “Sue has always run an impeccable household and has always made time to make the rest of the extended family and friends feel special and important. I do not know how she has done it all, but I do know it's been nothing short of difficult and challenging. She probably hasn’t been recognized with the accolades she deserves for the hard work and sacrifice she committed to this foundation that has finally reached these breakthroughs. I just want her to be celebrated.” ⁠⠀
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We celebrate you, Sue!!  We want you to know we are incredibly inspired by your tenacity and strength. ⁠⠀

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Mary B.

Dickinson, Texas
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Chef Mary lives in Dickinson, TX, and was nominated by her friend of more than a decade, Aura. Mary is a professional chef, has three biological children, plus she is raising her nephew as her own. In addition to raising a family, she is an incredible chef, teaches culinary arts at a local community college, and is a natural leader. Mary rallies her village of volunteers to support the community in times of need and uses her culinary skills as a power for good. Aura says, “She helps before there is a need and gives when no one else will; She believes that anyone can make a difference!“ 

When Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc on her community, Mary spearheaded a fundraising campaign, raising money for the teachers and school staff who lost everything. She prepared a barbeque fundraiser and organized other drives, accumulating over $8000 to give to those impacted.


Following the tragic school shooting a year ago in neighboring town Santa Fe, Mary organized a community dinner in just 12 hours, saying she just felt like they all needed to be together. This horrific event was also the impetus for Mary to start Chef’s Table Charities, a non-profit geared to aid students and teachers in a time of crisis.

Mary’s selfless acts are never-ending as Aura continues, “She never turns down an ask for help, all the while running her own home, being a mother and working as a professional chef!” Plus, you may even catch her in the midst of random acts of kindness, like buying a meal for a stranger.

So, CHEERS to Mary…she is most definitely the ‘toast of the town’ and a truly remarkable Viva Babe!

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Penny

Tulsa, Oklahoma
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Penny teaches at an economically disadvantaged junior high school in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  The school environment is challenging, but Penny is completely devoted to her students’ success. Her nominator and friend Angela shares, “She has a true calling to teach these children in a school many people won't even substitute in. She truly loves and cares about them. There is no doubt she is a light to many of her students.”Viva Babe Penny says she is right where she wants to be, sharing “These kids just need to be loved on like everyone else.” And, when things are tough, Penny reminds her students to “go around the leaf” (her favorite quote from A Bug’s Life), motivating her students to persevere and find another way.
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Not only is she a beacon of light for her students, but she also is amazingly generous with Angela’s family, jumping in and helping times of need.  In fact, when Angela’s grandmother was ailing and with the closest relatives an entire state away, Penny moved in with Angela’s grandmother, knowing this is where she was meant to be, caring for and assisting her.  Plus, when Angela’s parents moved back to Tulsa, Penny was right there, checking on them regularly and ensuring their well-being. She’s a natural nurturer, always ready and willing to give. ⁠⠀
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So, cue the band, the pep squad, and cheerleaders as we cheer for Penny! It’s undeniable…the world is better with you in it! 

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Sharon S.

Coronado, California
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Sharon lives in Coronado, CA, and served her country with distinction for 24 years as an officer in the United States Navy and continues to selflessly contribute to the community and the community of women. Her husband and nominator Rolf shared how Sharon was a pioneer in the Navy, going on active duty before women were integrated into the fleet. He says, “She never sought to be involved in being the ‘first woman’ in anything, but found herself often facing completely unknown territory.” Not only did she pave the way, she truly thrived in these often challenging and uncharted waters. 

Sharon worked her way up the ranks, eventually earning the title Captain! Sharon spent four tours of duty in Washington D.C., working long 14-hour days. Rolf continues, “Sharon served in the highest levels of her profession as the Protocol Officer for the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff as a single mother. She proved to countless young women that they did not have to sacrifice motherhood to serve.” 

After retiring, Sharon dove headfirst into a life of community service.  Some of her many volunteer efforts include:

- Volunteering with the American Red Cross as a member of their Service to the Armed Forces branch

- Volunteering with the Navy/USMC Relief Society (NMCRS) where she counsels active-duty members on financial decision-making

- Serving as a board member for a local non-profit. FOCUS. She screens and recommends 20-30 projects a year to support children in need in the San Diego area

- Serving as a volunteer director of local pregnancy support center called Birthline

Sharon, thank you for paving the way for other women serving our country and for your benevolence in your continued service to help others!  We salute you! 

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Stephanie M.

Pittsburgh, Texas
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Stephanie is a Principal who lives in Pittsburg, Texas and drives 40 miles each way to lead her elementary school with purpose and passion. Her nominator Lauren has this to say about Stephanie, “This girl right here, is hands-down the most selfless influence and mentor any principal could ask for. She is always positive and works a full-time elementary principal job in addition to running PrincipalPrinciples, a blog she created to help other administrators. Plus, she now has a Facebook group with over 25,000 fellow principals seeking to network, advice, suggestions, empathy, and most importantly to cheer you on!” ⠀
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Lauren found Stephanie online when Lauren was working on her masters in educational leadership and they met during Lauren’s first year as an administrator. Lauren continues, “She has been my sounding board and my cheerleader in getting my first administrator position and been there through all the tough situations on the job.”
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Plus, Stephanie was awarded Principal of the Year by the Texas Rural Educators Association this June! Whoop! ⠀
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From her blog, Stephanie shares, “I am an Elementary School Principal with a passion for transforming how we lead schools. My goal in life is to wake up each day with a purpose and leave a lasting legacy in this world.”  Yesss! Stephanie, with your positivity, leadership, and mentorship you have made your mark‼️ ⁠⠀

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Lara

Austin, Texas
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Lara is a military caregiver and an advocate for veterans with service-connected illnesses.  This is not a path that she chose as her life-calling, but rather one she discovered as the wife of Tom, the love of her life, and an Air Force veteran with service-connected ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a terminal disease that destroys motor neurons and patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.⠀

Through this devastating and heartbreaking journey, Lara has taken on learning and advocating for care and services through the VA, not just for Tom, but for all veterans with ALS.  As a military caregiver, Lara was selected as an Elizabeth Dole Foundation (EDF) Fellow this February (we love that our Echo Sling photobombed the pic with Lara and Elizabeth Dole!). From Lara’s own words on The Elizabeth Dole Foundation website, “Being a military caregiver to my husband with ALS means doing everything I can to ensure he has a quality of life worth living and letting him know that my love for him is greater than my fear of this disease.” https://hiddenheroes.org/story/lara-garey/⠀

Lara is a pillar of positivity as she continues to spread awareness and fight for funding. A true Viva Babe, Lara also shares, “I try and Live in Color as much as I can as I care for my husband with a terminal disease. It's the little things now that make me happy.”⠀

Lara, we are so in awe of your courage, strength, and tenacity and we admire you for leading the charge and living in the moment.  To learn more, please read Lara’s blog, https://tomstroops.com/⠀

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Zoe

La Porte, Texas
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Zoe was born with a congenital heart defect and has undergone two open heart surgeries and three heart cath surgeries in her young 27 years, with her latest surgery only six months ago. Her mom and nominator says she’s a “miracle to this world. ” Every first for her is so precious, but she doesn’t question ‘why me’, rather she uses her heart condition as a platform to help others.  According to her mom, Zoe wears her scar on her chest as “a badge of honor, comforting and consoling anyone she can who has a child or an acquaintance with a heart condition.”

Zoe is selfless and is pursuing her dreams to give back and assist others.  As a Milk Bank Technician at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, Zoe has come full circle, working in the very hospital that she spent so much time in as a patient, walking the halls with many of the same doctors who helped her.  Additionally, she recently earned her Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and is on her way to achieving her current goal, a double Masters in Healthcare Administration and Business Administration‼️ She will be the first in her family to earn a Masters. And, she’s newly married! 


⁠ “She inspires me and so many to look at the bright side of life,” says Zoe’s mom. Step aside darkness – make way for the light and love that is Viva Babe Zoe! 

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Melissa W.

Houston, Texas
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Melissa is an Emmy award-winning television news anchor for a major network in Houston, Texas. She is admired by her television fans and an inspiration to women with her balancing of motherhood and a full-time career.  In 2013, this balance was challenged and her world was rocked when she learned her youngest son, Caleb, had leukemia. Her nominator Kendall shares, “Melissa is a blessing to everyone she meets and you would never know her child is battling cancer. She never missed a treatment, appointment, baseball game, and still did the morning news for Houston EVERY SINGLE morning. Plus, Melissa is a huge advocate in the community, helping other families dealing with childhood cancer.”

Their family journey is hard to imagine, but Melissa carries herself with such grace and courage. Melissa shares her coping skills, “I rely on my faith, family, and friends to endure dealing with childhood cancer. It’s not something anyone wants to go through, but I believe everything happens for a reason. That’s why my family tries to look for the simple good in each day to get us through our darkest hours.” 

That’s a wrap! Look for the good in each day! You inspire us, Melissa. ⁠

Check out Melissa’s post of her Viva Babe recognition on her Facebook page.

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Debbie P.

Weehawken, New Jersey
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Debbie is the Director of Marketing for a company in Weehawken, New Jersey. Her nominator, former co-worker, and friend, Stephanie shares, “her positivity is reflected in everything she does. She’s had a tremendous impact on my life and I can say, without a doubt, that I am one of many!” Debbie creates mini communities and brings people together to ignite the team. She recently moved to a new company and is already sprinkling her pixie dust by creating a woman’s league, hosting the first event on International Women’s Day. She also volunteers and imparts her wisdom with a group called “Moxie Girls”, where girls are empowered to break the stereotype boundaries in computer science. Plus, Debbie is a creative type to the core; She started her own jewelry-making business and has developed a HOPE bracelet with the mission to raise money to kick cancer in the ass‼️ 
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When asked about sharing her message of positivity, Debbie says “I’ve always believed the best success is shared success. It doesn’t happen without the help and support of your team. I’ve been very fortunate to have had many strong, empowering women throughout my career and want to share that knowledge and empowerment with other women.” 

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Renee F.

Louisville, Kentucky
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Renee embarked on her life of service with 28 years in the US Army and has continued her servant heart after retiring in 2010. Nominated by her husband, Kevin, he shares, Renee “lives every day to comfort, console, and uplift veterans, civilians, and refugees.” Her impact is widespread with all the groups she supports:⠀

✅ She volunteers for No Veteran Dies Alone at the Louisville, KY Veteran’s hospital, personally consoling and comforting dying veterans who do not have any family.

✅ Renee volunteers for 11th Hour, a hospice program where she holds the hands of dying civilians in local nursing homes, ensuring them that they are not alone.

✅ She volunteers for the Kentucky Refugee Ministry program (https://kyrm.org/), where she greets refugees with USA balloons and gifts to welcome them to the USA.

✅ Renee teaches refugee women how to make earrings. She also makes baby blankets and receiving blankets for the expectant refugee women.

✅ She teaches chair yoga to several different groups.


✅ Renee volunteers with WaterStep (https://waterstep.org/), an organization that saves lives by collecting shoes to fund drinking water projects across the globe. Renee has personally collected over 1000 pair of shoes for this cause.

WOW! When do you sleep, Renee? You definitely make life ridiculously awesome for those in your midst! When asked about her motto, Renee said she’s always lived by “attitude is everything.” YASSS!

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Angela B.

Los Lunas, New Mexico
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Angela is a photographer in Los Lunas, NM. As a stay-at-home momma of four, she discovered a passion for photography and she grew this passion into a successful business. Her nominator, Deloris, shares “Angela LOVES to make women feel amazing about themselves and their bodies! She feeds each client with a million compliments in such a way that we leave the session with unstoppable confidence!“ ⠀
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Deloris and Angela became fast friends many years ago when their Marine husbands were deployed together in Iraq. In addition to making her clients feel amazing during photo shoots, Angela also “has a knack for making people believe they can do anything.“ Deloris shares, ‘Ang filled me with so much confidence that I joined her in signing up for a bikini competition. This had been a dream of mine from a very young age, but I didn’t necessarily believe I could achieve it. She convinced me to go for it, and not only did I do it, I owned it and got my pro card!”⠀⠀
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You go, girl! Angela, your devotion to uplifting the women in your life is remarkable! ⠀⠀

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Amelia

Boston, Massachusetts
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Amelia is a flight attendant with Delta Airlines in Boston, MA, and is passionate about volunteerism and finding her way to spark change in the world! Amelia became interested in the Latin American culture in high school and studied abroad in Mexico for four months during college to immerse herself in the culture and language, eventually becoming bilingual. After putting herself through college and with this newly developed skill set, she set out to volunteer for a non-profit in El Salvador called Fundahmer, where she worked as a translator/guide. One year turned into two and her lust for travel grew as she had the opportunity to explore many new places.

Recognizing that she had to find a ‘real job’ where she could make money but still following her passion for travel, Amelia now works as a bilingual flight attendant. Her dreams continue to take flight as she is now in the midst of earning her pilot’s license. She just completed her first solo flight and plans to finish flight school in three years!

Her mom and nominator shares, “She works VERY hard for everything she has and is always the first person offering to help when the need arises.” Amelia gains her inspiration from 1 John 3:18: “Let’s not merely say we love one another, but let us show the truth by our actions.” She also shares, “I believe the best way to create change is to be present and to be in solidarity with those around us, especially people around the world whose lives are shaped by the way we live ours here in The States.” ⠀

Amelia, you are soaring lightyears beyond your age and your drive to show up and evoke positivity in the world is inspiring!

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Erika

Austin, Texas
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Erika is the Founder and Executive Director of Austin Allies, a group of Austinites volunteering with their children to help charitable organizations in and around the city.  Erika saw the need to counteract the negativity she witnessed in the world and instill the values of empathy, understanding, and compassion in her children.  Viola!  Austin Allies was formed to make volunteering easier for families by creating events and activities with local organizations who need support. 


Erika’s nominator and fellow volunteer, Julie, shares, “This woman is amazing. She wakes up in the morning and spends her day looking for non-profits to help. She is truly a full-hearted do-gooder and I love her energy and spirit!” ⠀

Julie rounded up Erika’s family and Austin Allies Board Members for the Consuelabration at a local restaurant and the enthusiasm and support was sizzling! After the celebration, Erika shared this message of positivity, "Do Some Good Today. It's simple but important. ”

Truth, Erika!! The smallest acts of kindness can Make Today Ridiculously Awesome for someone else!

To learn more about Austin Allies, see https://austinallies.org/

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Summer

Ocala, Florida
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Summer is the Director of the Marion County, Florida, Literacy Council.  She is so treasured that she garnered 3 separate nominations by her girlfriends, and in Summer’s words, these ladies are her “true soulmates”.  These soul-sisters surprised Summer at their book club gathering, a close-knit club that has been together for more than ten years.


Summer is FULLY INVESTED, “whether it’s her work at the literacy council, as a board member of the fine arts committee, as a moderator of our crazy book club, or with her friends and family,” her friends share.  Not only does she hold down a full-time job and volunteers for countless local organizations, but she’s also studying to get her Masters in Social Work, too‼   Her friends also say,  Summer “will shine as a counselor because she has a natural ability to put you at ease by her keen listening skills and knowing that she is never negatively judging you. She sees all aspects of life to be a part of a person’s story, not their shame." 

Summer has a passion for service.  When she heard this famous quote by Gandhi, "You must be the change you wish to see in the world," it transformed her life.  She shared, “I found my heartbeat and motivation in that quote and it has never changed”.

YESSSS, Summer!  You are the BEATING HEART of your community and one incredible Viva Babe!!

P.S. Can we join your book club?

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Eva

Austin, Texas
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Ms. Eva is a preschool manager and teacher in Austin, Texas and she is oh-so-loved by her students and parents alike; In fact, over FIFTY parents and former students showed up to honor and celebrate her! Her nominators, Dani and Stacy, share, “For over a decade, Ms. Eva has expanded the horizons of hundreds of children at the Patton Elementary Child Development Center. She teaches them in English, Spanish, and sign language that they have no limits!”  Her former students are the “kind of kids that play hard, take risks, speak up when they should, look you in the eye, tell the truth, use great manners, and help their friends.”

We witnessed the love and support of Ms. Eva firsthand as the exuberant crowd paraded from the gym to the playground to surprise her.  What a joyful and touching experience!  Ms. Eva shared this with us, “I love working with children, it’s so fulfilling. I hope that I am making a positive impact on these little lives. I always tell my own children that the world is round and if you give Good you get Good.” Yassss‼️ Ms. Eva, thank you for giving GOOD!

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Selina

Norman, Oklahoma
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Selina is the momma of two and the wife of a Division 1 College Baseball coach.  Life threw her a curve ball when her second child, Briscoe, was born with renal failure and was whisked away to NICU shortly after birth.  Briscoe spent five long months in the hospital followed by Selina moving into the hospital for a month to learn how to be his primary caregiver; He required dialysis up to 12 hours nightly and 20+ rounds of medication daily at home.  At age 2, Briscoe finally received a kidney transplant, and while he no longer requires dialysis, he still requires constant care.

Her nominator and sister-in-law, Vanessa, shares “throughout this entire journey Selina has not let this get her down, EVER! She continues to sign her daughter up for extracurricular events, is the room mom of her daughter's Kindergarten class, attends every home baseball game for her husband’s team (as long as Briscoe is healthy), throws the most over the top birthday parties, and cooks three meals a day from scratch!” Selina makes every attempt to live a normal life.

Selina gets through the rough patches with this nugget, “There is ALWAYS a silver lining. ALWAYS. You just gotta find it.”   Selina, your attitude of finding the positive in any situation is remarkable!  You are a ROCKSTAR mom!

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Donna C.

Brenham, Texas
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The unimaginable struck Donna’s family in 2003; Donna tragically lost her precious four-year-old son Adam to AML Leukemia within a matter of days. Adam fell gravely ill, was diagnosed and placed on life support, and four days later Donna and her husband had to make the gut-wrenching decision to remove life support after confirming there was no brain activity. ⁣


We have no words.


Through this darkness emerges a beacon of hope and light with the founding of Adam’s Angels Ministry, providing care and comfort for families suffering from childhood cancer. The ministry assists cancer families with living expenses, meals, transportation costs, and hosts a huge Christmas party at MD Anderson Children’s Hospital where every child and sibling receives a gift. Donna’s sister and nominator shares, “Adam lived a short life but impacted so many lives. Now Donna is impacting lives through her generosity and making a difference.”⁣


Donna’s giving heart never stops.  As we surprised her at our flagship store in Austin, Donna shared a recent story about driving and staying with a young girl during her chemotherapy sessions when her parents were not able, and how she witnessed her post-chemo exhausted body, crumpled in the car, with her head between her knees, because this was her “only comfortable position”. 


Despite the tragedy Donna and her family endured, she has chosen to walk with joy and sprinkles sunshine on those who need it most.⁣


For more information see, https://adamsangelsministry.org⁣

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Angela B.

Converse, Texas
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Angela is a communications supervisor for a local municipality just outside of San Antonio, Texas. During her time as first responder and now supervisor, she has transformed her center from a place where several dreaded working, to one of the premier emergency dispatching centers in the Bexar County area.  Her husband and nominator Paul shares, “In addition to increasing workplace performance, training, and transparency, Angela is also a licensed instructor who takes pride in teaching future emergency dispatchers job skills necessary to perform this underappreciated job.”⁣

Not only has she positively impacted her work environment, but Angela also gives back to several local causes. She has been instrumental in establishing numerous community outreach programs in the city to include coordinating the city's first Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), made up of volunteers from the community who receive specialized training in responding to local emergencies, search and rescue, and emergency medical treatments. Additionally, she has hosted the Stop the Bleed class for citizens where they are taught life-saving techniques to stop uncontrolled blood loss from injuries. Plus, Angela is currently working with a student from a nearby high school to develop a program to respond to active shooters.⁣

While many of us dream about making a difference, Angela owns it, sparks change, and positively charges those around her! 

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Wendi M.

Menifee, California
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Brave. Fierce. Warrior. Viva Babe Wendi is a fighter.

Captain Wendi is the Fire Captain of the Rancho Mirage, CA fire department.She’s been a Firefighter with Cal Fire since 1995 and has spent the last 12 years as an Engineer serving another local community. She’s now fighting the biggest battle of her life as she learned just over a year ago, she has one of the most aggressive, fastest growing breast cancers in existence. Her nominator, Guadalupe shares, “throughout Wendi’s life and career she has always given selflessly to everyone else. My sissy Sara (also a firefighter) passed away from cancer in January 2017. I am forever broken, but Wendi has helped me emotionally so much with her cancer strength.” Not only has Wendi spent most her life serving her community as a firefighter, but she’s also made a tremendous impact through her volunteerism. She’s volunteered with the homeless for a number of years and also counsels peers with PTSD and stress-related issues. Plus, once she’s beaten cancer, she plans to spread the word about awareness and prevention within her firefighter community.

You got this, Wendi! Your strength and determination in the face of adversity inspire us all! Keep smiling, keep fighting, and kick some cancer a$$! 

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Genny

Winchester, Massachusetts
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A parent’s worst nightmare, Genny’s son Clay died at age 19 after mixing a prescription drug and alcohol while attending a party in July 2015 in Winchester, Massachusetts, the summer after his sophomore year in college. Rather than retreating in grief, Genny and her husband Geoff committed to act and share their story. They started the Clay Soper Memorial Fund and made a documentary entitled ‘If They Had Known’, a documentary told by kids for kids, to educate viewers about the risks of the current party culture. Nominator Jennifer shares, “Despite the tragedy and great loss to her and her family, Genny has made it her mission to help educate kids, schools, and adults about what happened to her family, hoping to prevent this from happening to someone else.”⁣

Genny shares, “Our goal is to have as many students view this film as possible. The toxic trend of mixing prescription drugs with alcohol is resulting in too many accidental deaths. We hope our documentary program will help to create change and save lives.”⁣

We are incredibly touched by courage, strength and your desire to help others, Genny. You are a shining example of a beautiful light following a tragedy few can imagine. Please help us share her mission, so that other lives are saved.

https://www.iftheyhadknown.com/⁣

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Todos Juntos Staff

Austin, Texas
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Not 1 or 2, but 11 Viva Babes! Join us in celebrating our latest ‘It’s Not About the Bag’ honorees, the ENTIRE STAFF of Todos Juntos @todosjuntoslc !

Christina started Todos Juntos in Austin, Texas in 2009, a bilingual, 2-Gen Family Learning Center committed to breaking the cycle of poverty by strengthening immigrant families through education. Todos Juntos works with children and their parents simultaneously; they learn together and gain control over their family’s future. In the center, children engage in a high-quality early childhood education with the goal of school-readiness, while the parents are taught adult English as a Second Language (ESL) and parenting development classes, all free of charge.

Nominator Soledad shared, Todos Juntos has a “100% teacher retention rate with several of the teachers working for free for years, knowing this is their life calling, and some still work for free because they believe in the mission so much.” One of the staff members is a former student, who graduated from Todos Juntos and has come full-circle, giving back to other families, helping them achieve their dreams.

Todos Juntos is more than a school, it’s a community where families are encouraged and supported. We applaud and celebrate all the staff for their unwavering dedication.

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Priscilla A.

Wilmington, Delaware
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Meet Viva Babe, Priscilla. She’s the perfect combo of wisdom, a sense of duty, and incredible strength. Plus…she’s our latest ‘It’s Not About the Bag’ honoree!⁣ 

Priscilla has always had a passion and a vision for mentoring and currently is a volunteer mentor for a middle school in Wilmington, Delaware. Her nominator, Karen, met Priscilla years ago as they were volunteering, serving soup at an Empty Bowls event, and learned they had mutual interests. The friendship grew and evolved, and although Karen moved cross country to New Mexico two years ago, she knows she will always have a friend in Priscilla.⁣

Karen was so moved and inspired by Priscilla’s mission to serve she immediately knew she had to nominate Priscilla when she discovered our program. Karen shared, “Along with the events in her childhood and despite lifelong chronic pain, Priscilla leads a life of service and I’m sure I’m only aware of a few of her commitments. She is a beautiful soul and she never seeks out recognition for herself. I feel good knowing she is out in the community making a difference.”⁣

Priscilla’s leadership and guidance aim to advance the educational and personal growth of her students. She lives by these inspiring words, “Everyone talks about leaving a better planet for our children. I prefer to do what I can to leave better children on this planet.” 

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Madeleine

Katy, Texas
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She’s a competitor who does not quit! At an early age, Madeleine wanted to act and model, so she followed that path until age 11. Then, she was on the road to becoming an Olympic athlete as a competitive cyclist, but was sidelined by a serious accident, forcing her to find another sport. After some soul-searching and missing her passion for competition, she decided to join her high school bowling club.⁣ ⁣

Her mom and nominator shared, “being the competitor that she is, she went straight to the top, winning her high school bowling district and region 3 years in a row. Her senior year, she was recruited by Sam Houston State, bowling in their NCAA program, finishing her 1st year of college as a national winner. From there, for her remaining college experience, she transferred and bowled for the University of Alabama at Birmingham.” Now, at the age of 23, she is a professional bowler, bowling in the PBA and PWBA tournaments while also working full-time.⁣

⁣ Madeleine is a fierce competitor, but she’s also a compassionate soul. After her grandmother suffered from a stroke, she put everything on hold to care for her and helped her back to a full recovery! Madeleine also finds time to volunteer with Xing Out Breast Cancer Foundation, and The Smilin’ Rylen Foundation.⁣ ⁣

Madeleine, we salute you for bowling strikes in life, following your passion to compete, and lifting those around you when the pins don’t fall as expected.⁣

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Lisa P.

Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
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Lisa “shows up, whenever you need her to - for everyone, in many ways,” shares nominator, fitness student, and friend, Erin. As a former ER nurse and owner of a small boutique fitness studio, ‘Inspire’, in Mechanicsburg, PA, Lisa “challenges you when you need it, pushes you out of your box when you need it, tells you to value every move and motion as amazing things your body can do...and don’t take it for granted.” Erin also shares, “Lisa has trained people to do amazing things and has done amazing races, Ironmans for example, and is a beast, but in a way that is humble and calculated through preparation.”⁣

This past fall, when Lisa’s sister, her best friend, was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, Lisa decided to close her studio of 7 years to be with her sister and her niece. She showed up, ready to help, she thought she had time. Devastatingly, time was not on their side and Lisa’s sister passed away shortly thereafter.⁣ ⁣ Lisa shared that her tribe, the women of ‘Inspire’, are her inspiration. They are the dream team that helps her stay strong and stay INSPIRED. Lisa’s former studio, ‘Inspire’, was a welcoming and nurturing place where women of all ages were provided the opportunity to feel empowered and love their bodies. This is where the magic happened, where women joined collectively to lift each other and continue to do so.⁣

Lisa, you light our fire! You’re an amazing soul with vision and compassion and one incredible Viva Babe!⁣

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Kristie W.

Roswell, Georgia
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Kristie, a Realtor in Roswell, Georgia, “gives so much to the Roswell community by volunteering in countless ways, supporting students and families that are less fortunate by providing shelter, food, clothing etc., and most of all, always showing that it takes a village," shares nominator Carrie.

Carrie nominated Kristie after an extraordinary act of kindness that tugged at her heartstrings. The week before Thanksgiving, Carrie’s house caught fire and her family was staying in a hotel. Plus, to add to the craziness, Carrie tore her rotator cuff and required surgery. With a sense of humor and looking at life with a glass half-full, Carrie posted a photo of her tiny Christmas tree in the hotel. Literally moments later, Kristie responded with this incredible message: ⁣ ⁣

"Hi Carrie! I’m so sorry you have had a fire and are in a hotel!!! I can’t imagine you guys having to spend Christmas in a hotel!! We are out of town for Christmas... I would love to offer you guys our home, decorated and ready to go Dec 21st! Please come make our home yours for the holiday. Kristie.”

This remarkable gesture meant so much to Carrie that she was motivated to recognize her “for all the kindness she has for humanity,” so Carrie scoured the internet for a company that rewarded women for their kind deeds and VOILA…she nominated Kristie for our ‘It’s Not About the Bag Program’.

⁣ Kristie, you emanate LOVE and KINDNESS! You inspire us with your unwavering goodwill and generosity!⁣

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Kandis

Montgomery, Texas
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Kandis is on fire as a well-accomplished scholar and beyond! ⁣ ⁣

-High school valedictorian

-Cum laude graduate of Texas A&M University in Biochemistry

-Masters in Physical Therapy from Texas Woman’s University

-Doctorate from The University of Texas Medical Branch 

Kandis puts these incredible accolades to work as she lifts the world both locally and internationally.

Kandis is a pediatric physical therapist who works with special needs children in Montgomery, Texas. She drives from home to home “teaching infants how to walk and teens how to navigate school,” says Steve, her nominator and husband. Plus, she leads a special needs Sunday School class in church and manages her household and three children.

Internationally, Kandis makes trips to Haiti as part of her commitment as a board member of Hand Up Global Goods (HUGG), an organization that uses fashion to fuel social change by providing jobs with dignity - to give a HAND UP, not a hand out. Steve shares, HUGG “teaches Haitian orphan boys to make jewelry to better their lives and learn a trade.”HUGG works in conjunction with the Haitian orphanage, Grangou, teaching the teens essential skills to eliminate a life of handouts as they age-out of the orphanage.

Kandis ignites a fire and a passion to lift the lives of those around her and make this world a better place! ⁣

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Emerald Belles

Southlake, Texas
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Kickin-it!!!  Meet an amazing group of young women who exemplify what being a Viva Babe is all about!  The SLC Emerald Belles are today’s It’s Not About The Bag honorees.

This dance team from Southlake Carroll, Texas, is known for their crowd pleasing High Kick routines that create amazing illusions through their precision, intricate formations, and dazzling costumes.  Through their dedication and teamwork they have had many successes.  We highly recommend checking out one of their viral videos on YouTube.  So cool!!

This talented team was recently selected to audition for America’s Got Talent, and we couldn’t be more proud for them!  Look out LaLa Land!!  @agt @agtauditions

We were so impressed with their hard work, but when we learned from their nominator and team Director, Melissa Page, about their hearts, we became real fans.  According to Melissa, this group of shining stars have continually demonstrated kindness and empathy for one another and those around them.  Lifting others through their thoughtfulness and loving support.

We are so thrilled to watch you guys as you grow and bloom and become vibrant women out there conquering the world!  All the good luck and vibes on the show.  We’ll be cheering for you!

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Tami W.

Wichita, Kansas
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As an RN and Teen Pregnancy and Parenting Initiative Coordinator in Wichita, Kansas, Tami puts her “heart and soul into her work and she lives a life that is the best example of giving” her nominator, friend, and supervisor Frances shares. Frances says Tami was always drawn to run a maternity home, where she guides and advocates for pregnant young women, who are struggling with motherhood at the tender age of 13-23, to give them and their babies a healthy start. Tami supports their fears about their deliveries, NEVER misses a birth, and then she begins to help them understand the life-long commitment they have made to parenting.

Frances shares that Tami has been working two jobs since August, running the maternity home, while also running the ‘M.O.M.’ (Moving On To Motherhood), aka ‘mommy mobile’, program which provides targeted case management, counseling and crisis intervention, parenting education, and more for more than 35 pregnant/parenting youth.⁣

We’re so inspired by you, Tami, as you walk the walk and talk the talk of a Viva Babe, lifting the lives of all you connect with!⁣ 

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Vicki O.

Indianapolis, Indiana
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Vicki lives in Indianapolis, Indiana, and was the driving force behind the most successful and longest-running open-wheel driver development series in North America! Vicki opened the doors and inspired other women to get involved in racing. She offered her nominator Anne her first job in the racing industry 24 years ago. Anne shares “Vicki was the only woman to own a racing series…she was able to turn a small racing series into a big, successful one, in a tough man’s world, and pave the way for me, and other women to make it in the world of motorsports.” Anne owes much of her success to Vicki and shares “she made a big difference in my life and in my career. I am forever grateful.”

Vicki credits her mom as her incredible role model. “I am the daughter of an awesome woman who was widowed at 38 with 3 daughters and she raised us to be awesome women! She deserves the credit.” ⁣

Vicki, we are waving the checkered flag, celebrating your achievements in motorsports and leading the charge for women in your industry!

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Ann W.

Odenton, Maryland
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Ann is a Design & Marketing Coordinator for a model home design firm in Odenton, Maryland and was nominated by one of her employees, Christina. Christina considers Ann much more than a boss; She’s a friend, a mentor, and an unsung hero! Christina shares, “Ann is, without doubt, the best manager I have ever had. In her role as coordinator and manager, she brings strength and compassion that is only matched by her generosity and kindness to all the people she works with. Without complaint, Ann steers the helm of our ship - being the liaison between our clients, all the tradesmen, and women we work with, salespeople, our marketing team, and the designers, etc.,” which is truly a formidable task! 

Ann’s dedication and support goes beyond her role as a manager. Christina also shares, “she was the first manager that ever cared truly about me, not about what I could do for the company, but about me as an individual. Sixty people work in this location and I can tell you, with confidence, everyone has at least one moment where Ann has impacted their lives for the better. Life is not about how much we produce, it’s about how we uplift those around us and in doing so we not only give love to others - we love ourselves as well.”

Ann, the world is a better place because you’re in it! Thank you for spreading the positive vibes and lifting those you connect with daily! 

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Taylor L.

Halethorpe, Maryland
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Taylor is an Assistant Teacher from Halethorpe, Maryland and, “though only in her mid-twenties, she loves to explore life and has worked harder than many adults I know,” shares nominator and mom Nicole. Taylor started working at age 14 and has juggled school and work ever since. She worked throughout college, earning her Psychology degree from the University of Maryland, then interning and eventually working at a psychiatric hospital where she found her niche working with troubled kids.

For the last two years, Taylor has worked at a private high school in Baltimore, with 170+ autistic and behaviorally challenged students, where she helps them develop lifelong skills. Nicole shares, “Taylor is amazingly creative with this very challenging population, always teaming up to explore new challenges with her students.”

In addition to working full-time, Taylor has enrolled in a master’s degree program at a local university to become a certified nutritionist. “She's using her newfound knowledge to redesign the cooking curriculum for her students, working on increasing their independence,” Nicole shares.

Taylor does all this with a smile and an enthusiasm to learn more and share this knowledge to lift the lives of her students. Taylor, you inspire us and we’re honored to call you our Viva Babe! 

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Robin W.

Round Rock, Texas
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Today we celebrate love…and, there’s no better day to recognize Robin, who invites us to love and care a little bit more about the world than we think is possible. She shares “when one person I invite to help says yes, my impact is doubled. When three people say yes, it’s tripled. Four? Quadrupled. And on and on and on. And all-of-a-sudden, what one little person couldn’t have ever done alone becomes POSSIBLE and PROBABLE and DOABLE.” 

Robin is a Round Rock, Texas photographer, a single mom to two teenagers, and the President of Fields of Dreams Uganda @foduganda Fields of Dreams Uganda provides hope to the orphaned and vulnerable children of Uganda through soccer and education programs. Nominator Tina, Robin’s friend and running buddy, shares “she works tirelessly to be there for her kids for all of their activities, juggles photography to support herself, and donates ALL of the rest of her time as the President of the non-profit.” Plus, she leads the coordination of NINE ‘Dresses for Dreams Global 5K’ runs that occur simultaneously each November, benefitting the Fields of Dreams Uganda Girl Empowerment programs.

Robin, thank you for reminding us, encouraging us, and inviting us to show up in small ways and LOVE BIG {with our whole heart} so that the small things blossom and multiply to accomplish the seemingly impossible!

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Julie L.

Crossroads, Texas
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Let’s face it, we all have moments when we need a boost or a helping hand. Julie is PRESENT and SHOWS UP…EVERY. TIME. She’s got your back! Julie is the mother of four, a full-time stay at home mom, and a caregiver for her ailing father who lives several hours away. Nominator Tasha shares, she knew she met an instant friend when Julie invited Tasha and her family to stay with them when their house caught fire, even though they barely knew each other.

Julie sees a void and fills the gap! Your child forgot their school lunch? Don’t worry, Julie’s got you! She’ll be right there, dropping off lunch money for your kids. Julie attends all her kids’ activities, taking awesome photos of all the participants. She shuttles kids all over town, feeding them before and after events. She volunteers at EVERY school in the area, coaches Destination Imagination teams, and offers to feed hungry and tired band directors after a long day of competition. Whatever the need, Julie is there. 

Tasha shares, “people are comforted knowing she is near, and she is someone that actually means it when she says, if you need anything, call me."

Julie’s motto is: “If you’re still looking for that one person who can change your life, take a look in the mirror. No better person to change this world than you.” 

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Aysa

Austin, Texas
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Strike a pose!  Viva Babe Aysa sparks joy in the lives of young cancer patients and their families through her fashion show and charity, reminding them that they are amazing, beautiful, and strong! We applaud you, Aysa, as our latest ‘It’s Not About the Bag’ honoree and an amazing Viva Babe!

Nine years ago, Aysa began volunteering at the Austin, Texas-based Dell Children’s Blood and Cancer Center (CBCC) prom, and soon realized she had a bigger “vision that would not leave [her] heart.” The vision resulted in the conception of Beautifully Loved, a non-profit designed to improve confidence and self-worth for families dealing with chronic pediatric illness. Aysa reminds these special patients and their families that they are seen, valued, and overwhelmingly loved.

Nominator Jennifer shares, Aysa “organizes the Dell CBCC Fashion Show where patients are the models (who are pampered and celebrated!). All proceeds go toward the teen support group” which provides monthly uplifting activities. Additionally, Beautifully Loved pampers parents on Mother’s and Father’s Day and holds Quarterly Pamper Days at Dell CBCC, providing hair, makeup, nail and massage services for patients and their families.

Aysa, we see you and we want to remind you of all the good you bring to the world and that you, too, are Beautifully Loved!

All are invited to attend the Dell Children’s CBCC Fashion show, February 24, 2019, at Fair Market in Austin from 4-8 pm

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Rina

Stuart, Florida
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Move over darkness! Make way for the light that Viva Babe Rina shines on others through her non-profit ELEV8HOPE! We celebrate the hope she brings to those who are struggling while empowering them to rise and move forward! Rina, our most recent Viva Babe honored through our ‘It’s Not About the Bag’ program.

Rina is a wife, a mom to four kids, and the President/Founder of the Martin County, Florida, boots-on-the-ground charity ELEV8HOPE. Her nominator, Jamie, shared that Rina “restores her hope in humanity” as she witnesses Rina’s devotion and tireless efforts to pay it forward for local folks who need a “hand up”. Elev8hope receives no state funding and relies on “angels” to help fulfill the needs of many.Rina makes it all happen! ELEV8HOPE coordinates providing over one thousand families (yes, 1000!) with holiday meals and gifts. They also assist families with basic needs, like food, diapers, formula, and gasoline. Rina empowers these recipients with goodwill, as Jamie shares, “she helps them get back on their feet to rise”. Kids are an integral part of ELEV8HOPE’s volunteer program. The organization strives to develop student leaders. Jamie states, “Rina firmly believes that children are our best hope. She lets children of all ages, especially those in middle school and high school, help run the organization.” Through their active participation, these kids see the incredible impact they make!

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Lita

Missouri City, Texas
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High fives and fist bumps all around in honor of Lita, a born leader and our newest Viva Babe!

Lita is an Assistant Principal at a Houston, Texas area high school. Since her first day on the job, she has made an incredible impact, so much so that a teacher from a different department was motivated to nominate her.  Her nominator Lynne says, “Lita welcomes and encourages others by always acknowledging students and staff with a warm smile, an eye-twinkling nod, or a greeting while passing in the busy hallways.” She shares an authentic concern for the well-being of her students, following up individually to make certain they have the tools to succeed and they are supported at the highest level.

Lita is charged with numerous job requirements, with responsibilities to students, school and district staff. She meets all these challenges head-on, with gusto and positivity, always channeling the best interests of her students! In Lita’s own words, her decisions or goals focus on “doing what is best for the children.”

Lynne says, “Under Lita’s leadership, I feel a genuine sense of pride in teaching students to the best of my ability and working with all staff to make this school a warm, friendly, and safe place for all.” All these traits add up to a remarkable leader! We salute you, Lita, and are proud to recognize you as one of our Viva Babes! 

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Leah S.

Houston, Texas
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Leah is a police officer in Houston and spends her free time advocating for animals. In college, she volunteered at the Bryan, Texas Animal Center, using her talents to photograph and video dogs to shine the light on the needs of the animals. During her time at the Animal Center, Leah met her nominator, Terry. With a common passion, these two animal advocates became fast friends. After Leah moved away to a new position in Waller, Texas they stayed in touch through social media where Terry learned of the incredible work Leah continued to do to fight for animals!

As a police officer in Waller, Texas, Leah spearheaded the city’s first and only dog shelter, the City of Waller Animal Shelter, by renovating an old and decrepit jail cell. Then, when she relocated to the nearby Houston area, she founded a new rescue group, First Responder Animal Rescue, with the mission “to be the voice for those who can’t speak!” Leah often fosters dogs and cats from the street and rescues animals from high kill shelters, all while maintaining long hours at her job. Terry shares, “I am in awe and humbled by her amazing service.” We couldn’t agree more! We admire and honor you, Leah, for being a strong and incredible voice for animals!

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Mrs. Melissa

Elgin, Oklahoma
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Melissa is a teacher in Elgin, Oklahoma and she’s made such an impact on her students that she was nominated by one of them, a 7th grade student, Ryder. Ryder shared that “Melissa” (he doesn’t call her by her first name) is “a wonderful teacher, who finds special ways to reach all of her students.” While this would be reason enough to celebrate Melissa, she has elevated her role as a teacher to support the school at an entirely new level! Melissa, along with a fellow teacher, founded Winter Wishes, a tradition at their middle school, now in its third year. Winter Wishes is a program in which all middle school students write a wish for a fellow student (a friend or someone who could use a little extra kindness) and also write a wish for themselves. The entire school looks forward to December, when they grant as many wishes as possible.

Melissa leads the charge in requesting donations and funding and all of Elgin comes together to support the Winter Wishes program. Ryder says “Melissa is there at every function, fundraiser, behind it all, making it happen and spreading kindness through our community and our school”. Melissa said the program started based on a kindness curriculum. She shared “to be a part of this is my joy, my passion. Every kid has a story”. Wow! We applaud you, Melissa, for spreading kindness and joy throughout your school and community! 

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Nicole G.

Seattle, Washington
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Meet Nicole, the latest honoree of our ‘It’s Not About the Bag’ program and a super awesome Viva Babe!!

Nicole is a sonographer in Seattle and was nominated by her long-time friend, Laila. Nicole spends her free time and uses her vacation days to go on mission trips to impoverished countries where she trains local medical providers about women’s health and prenatal care. She’s been to Uganda (twice), Zambia, Bangladesh, and Guatemala. Nicole’s generosity is incredible!

In addition to her mission trips, Nicole also volunteers with local animal shelters, like Seattle Humane. She walks the most challenged dogs, focusing her time and energy on getting them ready for adoption. Laila shares, “Nicole is a true humanitarian,” to babies and animals. In fact, Nicole considers herself a “professional cuddler”!

Nicole loves the idea of breaking down social barriers by getting involved. She suggests “finding something that you feel passionate about and creating a 'volunteer vacation'”.

All the kudos to Nicole!! She walks the talk with her giveback-getaways, vacationing where she makes a meaningful difference and sharing her knowledge and expertise along the way.

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Mary M.

Angelton, Texas
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We’re all high fives over our most recent Viva Babe, Mary, recognized through our “It’s Not About the Bag” program!

Mary is someone who inspires all who know her by her strength and dedication. She is the mother of four and when her youngest son turned 18, he enlisted in the Marine Corp and left immediately after high school graduation for Iraq. Mary’s nominator and daughter Monique shared with us: “[My mom] became depressed and isolated.” Wondering if other military mothers shared her sadness, Mary placed an ad in the local newspaper calling for others in her situation. More than 15 women reached out. Eventually, the group grew to become the “Military Moms and Wives of Brazoria County (MMWBC)”, a massive group of volunteers providing aid and comfort to the men and women of the United States Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and their families. Her son did 3 tours in Iraq and was honorably discharged years ago, yet Mary continues to lead MMWBC and has done so for over 15 years. Monique also shared: “I have watched a mother that was timid, scared, not very outgoing and very little self-esteem become this woman with a loud voice, able to inspire businesses and volunteers to donate time, money and supplies to send thousands and thousands of care packages twice a year to American Heroes overseas…” What a hero!

Mary’s motto is: “Freedom isn’t free,” and her actions prove she’s committed to supporting those who fight daily for it. To learn more about MMWBC, see http://www.militarymomsandwives.org/

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Chelsea

Austin, Texas
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We’re hats off to Chelsea, our latest Viva Babe recognized through our “It’s Not About the Bag” program! 

Nominated by her mom, Teresa, Chelsea, learned the importance of health screenings when she was four. After failing a vision screening, Chelsea learned she was permanently blind in her left eye. Two years later, a failed hearing screening revealed that she was deaf in her right ear. In fourth grade, Chelsea learned about Helen Keller and surmised: “I’m half-bind and half-deaf; I’m Half Helen”-a name that would come to characterize her life’s work.

In 2013, Chelsea used her college graduation money to found half Helen Foundation (hH), a non-profit organization that exists to improve children’s vision and hearing through an innovative delivery of care. Committed to providing high-quality, preventive vision and hearing screenings in preschools and schools across central Texas, hH has screened over 45,000 children. Since Chelsea started hH, she's helped over 250 preschool age children avoid preventable blindness!⠀

Chelsea also worked with state legislators to pass a law that allows schools to use new, instrument-based screening devices to vision screen all school-age children and she is focused on raising funds to build a mobile optometry clinic.

Chelsea shares her motto, “Care is the mother of all things." It is our ultimate why and call to action!

You are awesome, Chelsea! Bravo to you! 

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Makayla H.

Ft. Worth, Texas
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Makayla is a charge nurse at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital, and one of the best in the business! She’s so awesome in fact, she was nominated by someone she barely knows, John, the son of one of her recent patients. The backstory that led to her nomination is so inspirational, we had to share it directly:

“On that first day [at the hospital], we met Makayla….to say my father is a little brash would be an understatement. An Air Force veteran with 23 years of service, he’s always been a little loud and rough around the edges. On top of that, he is a type 2 diabetic and you can imagine how that goes. To sum it up, Makayla took to my dad, and it truly touched us.

During her second shift, my sister and I happened to be coming back from grabbing a quick bite to eat and saw Makayla sitting at her workstation. She sat with her legs crossed, so my sister noticed an artificial leg sticking a bit out of the bottom edge of her scrubs. Makayla gladly shared she was involved in a motor vehicle accident. She was pinned in her car for three hours as the rescue crews worked to free her. She spent 14 months recovering prior to returning to her job.

Makayla showed no sign of having any type of physical detriment the entire time my father was in her care. She did everything for my father! However, what really stood out was the fact that once home, my dad made the comment that “he missed his nurse.” He’s not usually one to show that type of emotion, but I could tell she had made an impression. We need more Makayla’s in the world!" 

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Jennifer M.

Columbus, Ohio
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All hail to Jennifer, our most recent Viva Babe to be recognized through our “It’s Not About the Bag” program! 

Jennifer is a creative genius who shares her craft with others through YouTube to inspire card makers all over the world. Her mission is to share handmade kindness and boy, does she do an awesome job of it!

In addition to sharing her craft to inspire others, she is also committed to helping others in need. When two hurricanes recently hit the Virgin Islands, she led the crafting community in a fundraising event to help those affected by the tragic storms. Through her efforts, Jennifer learned that many of the school-aged children were the most affected. She took action to help by asking card makers to donate a card and a $20 bill to each child.

Jennifer’s nominator and fellow creator shared with us: “Jennifer amazes me with her kind heart and sweet, gentle spirit!” We couldn’t agree more!

Way to go, Jennifer! ⠀

Be sure to check out Jennifer’s AH-MAZ-ING work here:⠀

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/jennifermcguireink ⠀
Insta: @jennifermcguireink ⠀

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Ruth

Austin, Texas
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Ruth was nominated by her husband, Shaun, and believe us, we can see why! Not only is she a super mom of four, but she, along with her children, give to an amazing number of worthwhile projects including Austin Pets Alive , food banks, Dell Children's Hospital , and many others. She has prepared meals for homeless teens. She has organized fundraisers. She has organized meal services for someone she barely knows. She has served the children of her church—the list goes on and on! Her commitment to serving others and her community has been an awesome example to her family as well as to everyone around her.

In addition to serving the community, Ruth is an incredible mother (who has managed to volunteer as a “room mom” for all four of her children’s classrooms….all at once!) Speaking of her role as a mother, Shaun shared with us: “Ruth has sacrificed her own pursuits to be present at most, if not all moments in her children's lives.” We so admire her dedication!

Ruth has a fantastic motto she lives by and shares regularly with her family:

“Be generous. Be generous with your time and your words and your things. We have all that we need so don't be afraid to give.”

Ruth, we adore you and applaud all of the wonderful things you do to lift the world! Welcome to the ranks of our beloved Viva Babes! 

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Carisa

Kent, Washington
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Carisa is blazing trails in a male-dominated industry! She works as a National Coordinator with the Elevator Industry Work Preservation Fund, part of the International Union of Elevator Constructors, and is one of very few women journeymen. Of the 28,000 members in the IUEC, there are approximately only 130 women, and she’s the only one who has ever been promoted into a leadership position within the EIWPF or IUEC.

Carisa was appointed by her General President to the North America Building Trades Union, “Women in the trades” committee in DC, and it’s there where her work began, promoting women in male-dominated building trades. Each year, this committee puts on the “Women Build Nations” Conference, where women gather to learn and encourage each other in their quest for equality within building trades. She’s an advocate for women’s rights within her union and works tirelessly to improve communication and appreciation with leaders of the union. Also, she was recently recognized by Elevator World Magazine in their “People” issue in regards to her climb to the top in a male-dominated field.

Carisa attributes her success to the lessons learned from her mother, “who was fierce, independent, and strong beyond measure.” Carisa often reflects on this quote from Estee Lauder, “I didn’t get there by wishing for it or hoping for it, but by working for it.”

And working for it is what she has done indeed! Thank you, Carisa for being a role model and fighting for women in male-dominated industries!

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Jil

Bethany, Oklahoma
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Jil’s nomination to become a Viva Babe was inspired by her commitment to children. She works as a Teacher’s Aid and an interpreter for the deaf.

As a woman in her twenties and single, Jil’s desire to help children in need was so strong, she became a foster parent. This selfless responsibility brought her four children, two biological brothers and two biological sisters. She eventually adopted all four children, while still single.

Jil is deeply involved in Child Services and remains active in the foster care system for the State of Oklahoma. She’s been recognized for her work by the state, and is known as “mama” to many children and young people that know her.

Jil’s nominator and step-mother, Allyson, told us: “The road hasn’t been easy and there have been many ups and downs along the way ,but Jil has put her kids first all the way!”

Bravo, Jil! We’re so happy to celebrate you today!

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Jackie C.

Katy, Texas
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Jackie willingly works seven days a week to provide care for people with disabilities. She strives to instill self-esteem in all her clients and works hard to help her clients progress to achieve all they possibly can.

Jackie was nominated by Lynnette, the mother of one of Jackie’s clients, Kayleigh. Lynnette shared with us: “Jackie gives respect to the disrespected, companionship to the friendless and elevates the marginalized.” I am fortunate to have her working with my daughter. I too benefit from her strength and encouragement. My daughter and I are so blessed to have Jackie in our lives. She is RIDICULOUSLY awesome and spreads awesome wherever she goes!”

Last but certainly not least, we just have to share words that Jackie lives by: “Please hear me, Girl: This world has enough women who know how to do their hair. It needs women who know how to do hard and holy things.” -Ann Voskamp

Jackie, you leave us speechless with your love and service of others! We’re honored to call you our Viva Babe!

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Jessica M.

Franklin, Ohio
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A career as a certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor is not what Jessica ever intended for her life’s work. But it’s clear that riding horses and helping others while doing so was meant for her all along.

When Jessica was a year old, her father was involved in a barrel racing accident that left him in a coma for six months. After waking from the coma, he was unable to walk or talk. He eventually regained limited ability to walk through therapeutic horse riding and spoke again with the help of a voice machine.Later, at sixteen, Jessica began volunteering at a therapeutic riding organization geared to benefit children with Autism. Seeing a young non-verbal rider communicate in ways never before seen by her family hooked Jessica on the notion that helping and lifting others, through riding, would become her primary calling. Jessica’s nominator and mom says: “Jessica’s passion for helping others realize their abilities rather than focusing on their limitations makes her my hero!”

When we asked Jessica about her message of positivity, she shared these wise words: “Appreciate where you are in your journey, even if it’s not where you want to be. Every season serves its purpose.”

Jessica, you are serving wonderful purposes in life! We feel so privileged to call you our Viva Babe! ⠀

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LuAnn

Sherman, Texas
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Eight years ago, with $1200 in her savings, LuAnn started Women Rock  @womenrockinc, a non-profit organization to aid uninsured or underinsured women with their breast health. 

In 2017, Luann and team provided more than 800 mammograms and other breast health services to women in need. Financial support was also provided for those fighting cancer to help their families cover costs such as gas for doctor’s visits and medication.

As part of Women Rock, Luann started Breast Friends, a monthly support group for women fighting breast cancer as well as for those who have survived it. Luann’s nominator and friend Janis, who also serves as the VP for the organization’s Board of Directors, says: “ I am a 17 year breast cancer survivor and I make it a priority to attend these monthly meetings. She has created a sisterhood that cannot be described. We stand together in the hard times, we share tears, and we celebrate every time a survivor gets a "good report". LuAnn is selfless and gives more time, more effort, and all of her heart to this organization.” 

We’re so inspired by you, LuAnn! Thanks for all of the good you bring to the world! 

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Melissa

San Antonio, Texas
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Viva Babe Melissa is known as “Sister” because she loves everyone like family.  She’s devoted her life to helping others during extremely difficult times, working as a Deputy Director of Immediate Disaster Case Management. For the past two years, Melissa has focused her efforts to help victims of hurricanes Harvey and Maria to rebuild their lives, and her impact has been awesome!

Melissa’s friend, co-worker and nominator, Patsy says: “[Sister] has become a permanent member of my family, and working with her has been one of the best parts of my job. I look forward to texting her, calling her, or stopping by to see her every day because she's just normal, down-to-earth, and always takes time to listen, give a hug, and share a laugh with.”

Melissa, we need more Babes in the world like you! We’re so happy you’re our Viva Babe!

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Maria

San Antonio, Texas
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Maria’s sister and nominator RoseAnn shared with us that Maria was her first teacher. “She would spread a blanket under a large pecan tree in our front yard and teach us (younger siblings) the alphabet, how to write our names, etc. It was quite handy to have this down before entering school!” 

Maria and her siblings were raised in humble circumstances by their grandparents. Wanting the best for his family, their grandfather worked three jobs at times to ensure the children were able to attend Catholic school.

Determined to pursue her passion for education, Maria enrolled herself in college, figured out financial aid, and worked extremely hard, earning an undergrad degree and a teaching certificate.

Later, while working full-time and raising three sons, she attended night classes, eventually earning two masters degrees. What an inspiration! 

Maria’s devotion to education has helped countless people. Before her retirement, she oversaw special programs for the San Antonio School District, where she earned respect and admiration from many. ⠀

Maria is a brilliant model for anyone with a dream. Her amazing example shows us all you can follow your passion, no matter what! 

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Sarah F.

Maui, Hawaii
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We’re completely smitten with Viva Babe, Sarah!

As a beautiful young woman whose life was just getting started, Sarah’s plan for herself instantly morphed into something completely unexpected—she was in an accident that left her unable to walk.

Luckily for all of us, this Babe was born to thrive! Sarah’s resilience and endless positivity compelled her to write her blog, The Vertical Blonde, @verticalblonde, a platform for sharing stories and insights to motivate and advocate for others to better themselves in every way. Not only is Sarah a successful blogger, she’s held the titles of Ms. Wheelchair Hawaii, and First Runner Up of Ms. Wheelchair America. She’s a mother, fitness fanatic, sun worshipper, speaker, and “fan of the crap”, which “strengthens us in ways we don’t expect.”

Through her experience of becoming a paraplegic, Sarah has learned invaluable lessons. The best advice given to her after her accident came from her aunt: “Don’t ever ask ‘why’. Answers don’t come when you’re asked. They come when they’re supposed to.” By not asking ‘why’s’ she’s rightly learned incredible patience, along with the realization that “there is purpose” in everything. Sarah’s friend Karen nominated her to become a Viva Babe. And we’re so thrilled she did! Sarah, you’re a bright light of awesomeness. Keep burning brightly!

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Haley

Austin, Texas
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We’re totally in awe over Viva Babe, Haley!

Haley has a job that most of us can only dream about: She’s the globe-trotting photographer and blogger behind the notable travel guide, @readysetjetset

Haley got her start in 2013 by using Instagram as a way to share her travels with the world. A few years later, she started her blog, fully devoting herself to her craft. Today, she inspires thousands of people who flock to her site and Instagram profile every day, sharing her swoon-inducing photos and unique insight to the places she visits.

According to her mom and nominator, what makes Haley Viva Babe-worthy is her ability to step out of her comfort zone, as well as her sheer determination to: “make it happen”, no matter what.

Haley grew up in Austin, Texas and is a graduate of American University in Washington D.C. She’s a self-taught photographer who once took cues from her father, a videographer. Keep inspiring us, Haley!

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Stephanie

Austin, Texas
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We are so excited to celebrate Viva Babe, Stephanie!

In addition to being a kind and selfless woman to all humans, Stephanie shares her all-out awesomeness with animals. She volunteers her time every day to a number of organizations dedicated to animals in need. She’s fostered over 20 dogs in the past four-and-a-half years, focusing on dogs that are sick, injured, terminally ill, or in their final years of life. How wonderful is that?

Stephanie’s contagious smile, amazing sense of humor, and compassion for everyone makes her an outstanding individual. When she’s not caring for animals, Stephanie is a personal trainer with a career spanning nearly 20 years. And even more awesome, she’s the grandmother of three children, ages seven, four and two.Stephanie’s motto for living is: “Do life now. Be open. Be vulnerable. Live with your heart on your sleeve”. Pretty awesome words to live by, if you ask us!

Stephanie, you put the bow-wow in our bark! We adore you and salute your amazing heart!

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Krista

Liberty Hill, Texas
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Viva Babe, Krista, purely defines what it means to be a Viva Babe.

Krista devotes her life to benefiting others. Speaking of service, she says: “As we lose ourselves in the service of others, we discover our own lives and our own happiness.” Pretty awesome words to live by, right?

Krista is an active member in the community, volunteering over 400 hours every year. She shares her time, talents and loving heart with a variety of organizations that benefit women, children, families, and the elderly. If she’s not cooking meals for families staying at the Ronald McDonald house, she’s dancing with senior friends with dementia or early on-set Alzheimer’s. If she’s not cutting a rug, she’s painting the nails or styling the hair of teenage girls at a local group home. Her list of efforts is endless, and she manages them all flawlessly, as well as a full-time job.

Krista has also been involved in numerous fundraising projects and is a volunteer at the Austin Junior Forum.

Krista’s friend and nominator says: “With Krista, it’s never about her. She focuses on how she can positively affect the lives of others—she always finds a way to make others feel special.”

Krista, we think you’re the bee’s knees! We’re honored to celebrate you!

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Diane H.

Ingram, Texas
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We couldn’t be more excited to shout Diane's name from the Consuela rooftop!

Diane and her nominator Emily, have been the best of friends for more than 20 years. “We’ve been single together, married together, suffered the deaths of those dearest to us together…and now we’re mothering together,” Emily says. “In the midst of some of the hardest years of her life, I’ve watched Diane tend to the less fortunate, taking her daughter to serve meals on Thanksgiving and Christmas, something she continues to do today. She’s organized drives for kids needing school supplies, and more…she’s a gift to all who meet her, “ Emily says.

Diane is the mother of three children and also works as a Registrar at an awesome summer camp in Texas.

Diane, we salute your kind heart with admiration! Keep spreading the love!

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Jennifer

Austin, Texas
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We’re pleased as punch to celebrate Viva Babe, Jennifer! This was an extra fun event because we got to partner on Jennifer’s surprise with one of our fav Austin-based businesses @amysicecreams!

Jennifer is a successful businesswoman who has focused her career in the finance sector. She’s currently the CFO of @communityimpactnews , an Austin-based hyper-local news publication servicing greater Texas and Arizona. She is deeply committed to the small business network in the community.

Even with a thriving career and the business of mothering two teenage boys, Jennifer focuses her life on kindness to others: “Reach out to someone every day, whether it’s going above and beyond to help someone with a specific need, or lending an ear, or even simply offering a friendly smile…you never know when someone is having a bad day.”

Jennifer, you make us so proud! May you continue to share your brilliance and love with all!

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Brooke

Austin, Texas
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Joining the ranks of our oh-so-loved Viva Babes, is total rock star, Brooke!

According to her nominator, friend and co-worker Jacci, Brooke “truly exemplifies what it means to live a life of positivity and to always lift others.” Brooke is a Social Worker who served eleven campuses within an Austin, Texas school district where she was also a grief counselor for the entire district. Currently, she works as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for an Austin-area elementary school and she is well versed in Austin’s community resources, connecting many in need with housing, financial and mental health resources. As if this wasn’t enough awesomeness, Brooke is a Field Supervisor to student interns at the University of Texas’ School for Social Work.

When she’s not shining brightly on the job, Brooke is wonderfully mothering two girls and serving as a Girl Scout troop leader.  She’s a firm supporter of the arts, and works to instill an appreciation for them in her family. She’s also an avid lover of the outdoors, running five miles a day before the sun comes up! Clearly, this babe has an amazing amount of energy!

Lastly, but absolutely not least, Brooke recently wrote and received a grant from local grocer H-E-B, to provide books and bags to children who lack proper resources during summer months.

Brooke, you are fabulous! We’re so glad you’re a Viva Babe!!

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Karen

Stanley, Kentucky
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We’ve heard so many awesome things about Karen, we just had to make her one of our Viva Babes!

Karen and her nominator Tiffany, first met years ago when Tiffany began her career as a teacher. Karen served as a wonderful mentor to Tiffany, teaching her the ropes "like only a master can”. Through her mentorship, Karen lovingly treated Tiffany as her equal and never made her feel like she was lacking in knowledge. The two stayed in touch over the years. Eventually, Tiffany moved to Texas. As she heard of the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey, Karen reached out to Tiffany to ensure all was well. She then made generous donations to support those in need, never expecting a thing in return. Her kindness and optimism are what make Karen one fabulous babe!

Karen, you are amazing, and we couldn’t be more honored to celebrate you!

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Staci

Nevada, Missouri
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Today’s Viva Babe, Staci, is the mother of five, an entrepreneur, and all-around hometown hero of Nevada, Missouri!

Seeing an opportunity to further involve herself in her community, Staci opened a feed and garden store next to her home and husband’s veterinary practice. She shared, “Most every feed and garden stock stores in the area are owned by men. I wanted to create a family-friendly business that caters to women and kids, so we turned an old farmhouse next to ours into a store, set up a play area around our greenhouses, and added some goats to the barn!” How awesome is that!?!

Staci is highly passionate about kids and involves herself in various community aspects to promote and support them. During summers, Staci and family open their home to boys who participate in Nevada’s summer college league team. Her nominator Donna says: “I’ve only known Staci a few days but I knew immediately she was an incredible woman! She opened her home to my son who was in Nevada to play ball, and I was instantly assured he’d be well cared for—she’s wonderful!”

One of Staci’s favorite quotes came from her grandma: “If your horn needs tooting, someone will toot it for you. You don’t need to do it yourself.”

We’re tooting your horn loudly for all to hear, Staci! We’re so happy to celebrate you!

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Tina

Edinburg, Texas
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We’re shouting with excitement over our Viva Babe, Tina!

Why? Because according to her nominator and 12 year-old son JP @jpgarciask8er, she’s “a voice of sensitivity, support and endless love!” And while these are attributes of any awesome mama, what makes Tina special is the fact that her son isn’t like most kids his age. JP is a skateboarding prodigy with goals of becoming a professional skater and Olympian.“[My mom] provides me with discipline and keeps my ambition growing every day so that I can reach my goals. She’s always there to lift me up and has an amazing way of making me feel better when competitions don’t go my way,”JP says.

Tina, we salute you (and your future Olympian!) We’re thrilled to call you our Viva Babe!

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Sarah S.

Stanley, North Dakota
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We’re so excited to be celebrating Viva Babe, Sarah!

Sarah’s friend Stephanie (and nominator) sums up perfectly why we’re honoring her today: “Sarah is an inspiration to anyone who thinks their plate is too full!” She is the mother of three teenagers, a well-loved guidance counselor, and a track coach at a high school in Stanley, North Dakota. And, if this wasn’t already a lot to gracefully maintain, Sarah is pursuing her life-long dream of becoming an assistant pastor by taking seminary classes and involving herself in the various duties and aspects of the role at her church.

You’re a rock star, Sarah! Keep up the awesomeness!!!!!

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Lucia

Sheffield, England
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We’re totally over the moon to celebrate international Viva Babe, Lucia!

Lucia is an artist in Sheffield, England, whose artwork has been used for a wide variety of products including children’s clothing, bedding and stationary. Her incredibly sweet and lovely craft has also been displayed at a variety of public places and enjoyed by many.

Not only is Lucia a wonderfully talented artist, she’s also philanthropically driven. She’s raised funds to benefit a local hospital by completing a 10K run!

Lucia’s cousin and nominator says: “Lucia lifts the world everyday with her beautiful art—her work brings light and joy to a world that can often seem otherwise. Her artistry is reflective of her kind soul and giving heart—she’s truly someone special!"

We couldn’t agree more! Lucia, keep on creating your amazingly delightful art! We celebrate and honor you with love!

See Lucia’s work at: @bettyjoydesignstudio

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Beverly

San Antonio, Texas
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We’re seriously big fans of our Viva Babe, Beverly!

Beverly lives life by an awesomely simple yet poignant motto: “Make Today a Be Happy Day!” She learned this motto from her father, who lived his life in the same vein.

Beverly was nominated by her coworker and friend AnnEliz who shared with us that Beverly exemplifies selflessness. “She goes out of her way to help everyone!”, AnnEliz says. Beverly’s been known to grab lunch for coworkers, make calls and visits to sick friends, bake cookies and birthday cakes for her office-mates, and so much more. And the best part? Beverly wears a smile—always!

Thank you, Beverly, for making life sweeter for everyone around you!

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Paula

Egypt, Texas
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Viva Babe Paula is the definition of a warrior!

As the City Secretary of Wharton, Texas, Paula flexed her super-strong muscle of bravery during Hurricane Harvey. As the town administrators prepared for the storm and throughout the horrible flood that ensued, Paula slept in her office for days, rarely taking a break from her duties to ensure the townspeople were safe and supported as their homes flooded. During the ordeal, Paula’s own newly-remodeled home filled with water. Despite her loss, Paula persevered keeping in mind all the while: “we’re going to be ok!”

Paula, we applaud your bravery and perseverance! We’re so proud you’re our Viva Babe!

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Shannon

Tulsa, Oklahoma
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We’re thrilled to celebrate Viva Babe, Shannon!

Shannon is a single mother of three girls who, after her divorce five years ago, felt a strong need to help others, especially single moms. With a lot of hard work, Shannon launched an organization called ‘Extending Grace Ministries’, which anonymously gives items including assistance with utility bills, gas cards, clothing, and toiletries, among other things, to women in need.

Speaking of her Ministry, Shannon says:” It’s not a job, it’s a blessing!”

Shannon, it warms our hearts to honor you! Keep shining!!!

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Terry

El Paso, Texas
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Terry was nominated by her friend Connie, who is already one of our beloved Viva Babes. Her nomination is the result of her insatiable resilience and ability to live an inspiring life despite physical limitations. According to Connie, Terry is “the brightest, most outgoing woman out there! She never complains or outwardly wonders why she’s been given her physical challenges. She’s strong in her faith and prioritizes helping others.”

Terry also inspires others with her travels. She visited Europe this summer, and has recently vacationed in Belize. How fab is that!?!

Terry, we’re absolutely delighted to celebrate you!! 

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Shacolby

Rosharon, Texas
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Viva Babe, Shacolby, is a woman of many wonders! She’s the mother of three, a full-time Administrative Assistant, a writer, poet, talented singer, aspiring model and a fitness enthusiast who inspires women everywhere with her Facebook-based exercise group called: “Fit You, Fit Me, Fit Us.”The group consists of a series of Shacolby’s workouts and motivational messages to encourage women to meet their fitness goals and beyond!

Shacolby’s nominator and friend had this to say: “Shacolby inspires everyone by always challenging herself to improve and do more—she’s an amazing role model to her daughters as well as everyone who comes into her life!"

We think you’re amazing, Shacolby! Thank you for showing us all just how awesome we can be!

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Lisa

Corpus Christi, Texas
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Lisa is a warrior for education. She’s worked with relentless effort for a number of years to grow and elevate (in every possible way!!) the charter school that serves kids from Kindergarten to eighth grade in her community of North Padre Island, a small community within Corpus Christi, Texas. As a complete devotee to the school, Lisa spends countless hours as an unpaid volunteer, to fundraise, coordinate, organize, and govern the school that serves 500 students. Speaking of Lisa’s herculean effort, her friend and nominator said: “Lisa totally amazes me! She believes that helping others is critically important—and she puts her talents and abilities towards doing just that!”

In as much as Lisa is a champion for the charter school, she’s also a fantastic mother to two adopted boys. Lisa and her husband John, are an awesome example to those around them of “love, patience and creativity,” in both their approach to parenting and living in general.

We’re so happy to honor you, Lisa! Keep up the great work!!

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Neana

Joshua, Texas
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Neana is a full-time teacher, the mother of two small boys, and an incredibly brave woman! After losing her mother Conni (affectionately nicknamed Consuela) to breast cancer in 2016, Neana took immediate action to learn about her likelihood of developing the same disease. Genetic tests revealed she carries the same gene that caused her mother’s cancer. But rather than living in fear, Neana took an amazingly courageous (and highly preventative) step by having a double mastectomy, a procedure that lasted ten hours. 

In addition to her tremendous courage, Neana’s great-aunt and nominator says: “She always has a smile on her face and a heart for God.”

Neana, we are in AWE of you!!! Thank you for allowing us to share your story, you are a beaming inspiration!

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Sarah B.

Georgetown, Texas
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From the ranks of the Air Force, to the ranks of Consuela Babes, we’re super excited to honor and celebrate the amazingly patient, persistent and proud parent, SARAH! 

When Sarah and her husband Matthew, were first married, the pair was stationed at different military bases. Despite the stress associated with the separation on the newly married couple, Sarah was always, as Matthew (her nominator) put it: “a magnet for positivity.” Later, when the couple left the Air Force and relocated to the Austin area for an easily-found job for Matthew, Sarah spent nearly a year looking for an opportunity of her own. Not letting discouragement get the best of her, she persevered with her shoulders back and her head held high.

Sarah eventually landed a fantastic job as a Program Manager at a tech company and is totally loving it! And, in addition to landing her awesome job, Sarah and Matthew welcomed a gorgeous baby girl, Rose Emilia in May!! In honor of this sweet cherub, we were thrilled to gift Sarah with the Rosie Hobo as it not only reflected her baby’s name, but the baby’s nursery as well!

Sarah, you are a shining example of the what it means to hang on with cheer during difficult times. For that (and for many other reasons) we adore you and celebrate you being a Viva Babe!

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Teah

Stephenville, Texas
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Our latest Viva Babe, Teah, is totally slaying it!

While she’s making awesome grades at Tarleton State University, she’s also focused on philanthropic causes through her sorority, Delta Phi Epsilon, to raise awareness and funds for a number of community projects. What’s more, she loves children and works as a teacher at Faith Lutheran Church to fund her education. As her father (and nominator) says: “She lights up every room and is a powerful force for good!" She’s an awesome leader and a stellar example of love, hard work, enthusiasm and devotion to all! You are awesome, Teah!

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Jenai & Stephanie

Austin, Texas
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We’re super excited to celebrate not only one Viva Babe today, but TWO, sisters Jenai and Stephanie!

Jenai is the owner of @caffearagona, a terrific cafe in downtown Austin, known for it’s fabulous offerings and warm hospitality, drawing hometown folks as well as tourists alike. She’s full of heart, enthusiasm, and is a vision to businesswomen all over town—she’s a total boss!

Stephanie is Jenai’s encourager and rock. Though she lives in New York, the distance doesn’t keep her from having her sister’s back. From late-night phone calls to visits to Austin, Stephanie is always there, cheering Jenai on!

Ladies, we’re so honored to celebrate you! Keep up the awesomeness!!!

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Lindsay

Spring, Texas
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Viva Babe Lindsay, is a beautiful example of inspiration and hope!

Just over a year ago, Lindsay tragically lost her two-year-old daughter, Sadie, in a motor vehicle accident. Despite the unimaginable loss of her precious girl who loved pink, Lindsay’s resilient spirit thrives as a beacon of love and strength for her two boys, husband, and community around her. To name one example, she is the architect of Hope Family Care, a foundation that raises awareness for families who have lost a child or close family member. As her sister-in-law and nominator said: “Lindsay constantly gives, and will do so for as long as she’s on earth.”

Lindsay’s bright faith “keeps her vertical” and she’s at peace knowing “God’s plan is set in stone”. She’s a stalwart example of how light can shine in the darkest of times, and for that, we at Consuela are proud to celebrate Lindsay for all the good she brings to the world!⠀

Learn more about Lindsay via her blog: www.4sadie.com

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Ann

Quebec, Canada
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Meet Viva Babe Ann! As a young adult, Ann moved to Canada to be more fully immersed in French, studying it as a graduate student. She currently lives in Quebec, Canada, and has dedicated her life to helping others.

Her first job was teaching life skills to learning disabled adults. Following that, she developed a highly successful program to teach English to French speaking students in Quebec with a new, theatrical methodology, based on hand gestures. She trained other teachers how to use this very effective and unique style to teach English as a second language.

While life was happening to Ann, raising her family and working, she often longed to pursue her passion as an artist. Voilà! Now retired, Ann’s artistic light can shine as she paints in both watercolor and oils, is an accomplished bead artist, and enjoys other art forms. When she's not creating and sharing her art, she continues to reach out to others as a volunteer for the learning disabled. Ann’s encouraging heart and giving spirit creates a special magnetism to those around her. Thank you for being a champion for others and lifting the world, Ann!

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Jen

Wichita, Kansas
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Viva Babe Jen pours her heart and soul into her family and her work. She has two boys, is a soccer mom, and works for Youth Entrepreneurs, a non-profit in Kansas. Working for a non-profit organization, she helps spread the great work that they do across the nation. Youth Entrepreneurs equips young people with the values and vision to pursue their dreams. They strive to change the mindsets of young people, so that they believe in themselves and what they can accomplish. 

In addition to her strides to promote and positively influence youth entrepreneurship, Jen maintains positivity on the personal front, too! When things get tough, you would never know it because she always maintains a smile and a positive attitude. Her deep love of the Beatles and her slogan, "let it be" (which she has tattooed on her foot) provides her the strength to carry on through anything!

Yes! Here's to letting go of expectations and trusting in the outcome! So many times there is something better waiting for us than what we dreamed was the perfect outcome! 

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Sandy

Lago Vista, Texas
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Meet Viva Babe Sandy! Sandy exemplifies living a life out loud. When our Consuela Crew surprised Sandy during a staff meeting, she was completely caught off guard. She was speechless (and she's never speechless)!!!

Sandy is the Director of Special Education in an Austin-area school district and is a dynamic leader who encourages and applauds each person's contributions. She leads with a sense of purpose mixed with lots of laughter! Sandy and her team impact the students in their district in profound ways, and we are so thankful to get to highlight and acknowledge the work of such an amazing group of educators and caregivers.

Sandy is an avid practicer of empathy, constantly focusing herself and her team on staying positive during the challenging days and situations and always remembering to consider what it might be like to walk in another person's shoes. What a great reminder to see the world from others' perspectives and contemplate the situation from the other person's viewpoint. Empathy builds bridges!

Viva-on, Sandy! Thank you for showing us how to live life in the moment, exuding positivity and embracing each day with humor and love! 

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Erica

Los Angeles, California
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Whoop! Join us in celebrating Viva Babe, Erica! Erica (@errrrrrrka) spends her days as a kick-ass fitness instructor, inspiring her clients in LA to reach greatness! She makes everyone in her classes feel beautiful, strong, and ready to rock the world. 

By challenging her students to let go of self-doubt, and silencing that little negative voice that says 'you can't', Erica instills confidence and self-assurance, and motivates her students to achieve their best results. She pushes her clients to persevere when they feel like giving up and tells them how amazing they are once they've triumphed!

Erica is a true encourager, giving her students all the tools to succeed, both in fitness and life. She is the epitome of a Viva Babe, lifting others and empowering babes to reach their full potential and revealing the true badass chicks we all are!

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Vera

Austin, Texas
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Vera was astonished when the Consuela Crew, along with her team at @Dell, surprised and celebrated her; She thought she was headed to the cafeteria!! Vera is a patient, quiet and admirable person. She arrives early, takes care of many, many tasks, above and beyond her job description and is available at any time to assist her group, even with odd requests. She gives 100% and beyond and she affects much of what happens with her team at @Dell. She simply smiles and calmly approaches situations, when others are convinced the sky is falling.

Her team at Dell amplified the surprise by sharing a bag of “warm fuzzies” (one-word adjectives describing what Vera means to each of them) for Vera to read as a reminder of the respect and admiration they all have for her. She is “kind”, “conscientious”, and “damn-smart”, to name just a few they shared. Thank you for leading by example, Vera, with your kindness and intelligence, and lifting up those around you with your humble ways and sweet smile.

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Rachel

Austin, Texas
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Rachel is the rock of her “village”! She started a fitness business for moms a few years ago, initially with only 3 moms participating. She was patient and persistent and has now grown her tribe to over 120 moms, and recently celebrated her 3 year anniversary! Rachel shares messages of encouragement and her positive attitude are a light for so many moms during a huge transition in their lives. Her love, her warmth, and her caring nature are just added bonuses. Rachel humbly 

exclaimed, “Moms just need hugs!” when we surprised her after leading her stroller fitness group.

Her fitness program helps women find “strength in motherhood”. By creating safe spaces where moms can connect with one another and get in touch with the healthiest versions of themselves, they unlock the power of a collective motherhood. Rachel shared, “Ain’t no hood like motherhood and we just cannot do it alone. Feeling so grateful for our village; that is a living and breathing example of the sisterhood of motherhood.” 

Wow! We see you, Rachel!! Thanks for being a rock to your community of moms, who are comforted and encouraged by your love, support, and your contagious positivity!

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Ashley R.

Lubbock, Texas
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Viva Babe, Ashley is an angel on earth! Ashley is selfless, cares deeply, and is dedicating her life to helping others by becoming a nurse. No matter the situation, she always has a positive outlook on life and strives to be her best self.

Both of Ashley’s parents passed away when she was younger, so she’s had to be fiercely independent at a young age. In fact, she’s working two jobs to put herself through nursing school, yet she does this with a smile on her face. Next May, she will graduate with her Associate’s degree in Nursing and beyond that, she will attend Texas Tech for two years to earn her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Thank you for being strong in the face of hardship and painting smiles on those you touch! The sky’s the limit, Ashley!

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Montana

Austin, Texas
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Viva Babe Montana, is ambitious with a heart of gold! Finishing college in just three years and working full-time @WholeFoods HQ while getting her CPA license,  she is a total go-getter! Her commitment, drive and hard work are inspirational! She says her parents and her own ambition keep her motivated and she pushes herself to achieve her goals. She loves working @WholeFoods and plans to grow with the company.

Not only is she goal-driven, she has a servant's heart! She loves to give back and has made sharing her time and resources a priority.

Montana’s @WholeFoods team cheered her on during our Consuelabration and her reaction was priceless! “Why me?” Because, you’re amazing Montana!!

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Mel

Southlake, Texas
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Meet Viva Babe, Mel!

What’s the best way to Consuelabrate a one-of-a-kind like Mel? With a little pink champs of course!!

Mel has been a dance director for one of the largest and most successful high school dance teams in Texas for over 20 years! She has directly guided thousands of girls, molding and shaping their character through their formative years, and leaving lasting impressions on their hearts. Her former students have shared stories of the ways Mel has positively influenced their lives and laid the foundation for their future successes, in college and their careers. The impact Mel has had on her students is incredible, but there's even more to her story! Mel is also the co-owner of several fitness centers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, @zyn22_ ,and she shares her positivity daily as she teaches classes, motivating her students to give and achieve their absolute best!! She leads by example, with a servant’s heart, and regardless of any hardship in her own life, she is an unwavering positive force. We are so thankful for you, Mel, for lifting our future, and for touching our hearts!

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Barbara B.

Pflugerville, Texas
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Barbara has earned every jewel in her tiara! She is creative and kind, and a model perseverance. 

While raising three kids, Barbara decided to pursue her dream of attending college. This was a daunting task as she had been out of school for 20 years. Not only did she have the demands of being a student, she also had the demands of raising a family, and being a single parent; multitasking at its finest!! Barbara worked diligently to earn her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Colorado University, and she did not stop there! She went on to achieve her Masters of Fine Arts, too!!!

Following college, Barbara embarked on her career and today she continually rocks it as a top sales performer in her company! Whoop! She’s a model of staying focused and working tenaciously to realize her goals. Three cheers for Barbara!! Yaasss, girl!!!

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Julie L.

San Antonio, Texas
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Wow... Julie truly touched our hearts! She was told 20 years ago, while pregnant with her daughter, Alis, she had two months to live. She’s been fighting breast cancer for 25 years and has been stage four for 20 years. Does that get her down? Heck no!! She goes to chemo every 21 days and carries her Orange Crush Consuela. She says, “Just wipe it off, it’s good to go. That’s life. You don’t know what’s going to happen.”

As she fights this courageous battle with a smile on her face, she also lifts others on a similar journey. Julie and her daughter Alis make fleece blankets for chemo patients and for the children’s hospital oncology department. And, Julie visits the pediatric oncology center to paint the nails of young cancer patients. She is a giver; a giver of love, a giver of good vibes, and a giver of strength. Julie, you are amazing, an inspiration, and a true Viva Babe! 

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Amanada

Austin, Texas
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Like the brightest of rainbows, Amanda magically makes you feel better, just by shining those pearly whites in your direction! Those who know her shared how uplifting she is by always recognizing the positive in every situation and sprinkling love and laughter everywhere she goes!

Amanda has been a caregiver and supporter of those around her and puts her own hardships and challenges aside to focus on helping others. It’s impossible to have a bad day when you’re in her presence! Her incredible attitude has steered her career as a life coach, where she helps discover a person’s true potential so they can live an extraordinary life! We see you, girl! Keep shining that light!

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Paige

Canyon, Texas
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Meet Paige! She lights up the night with her infectious smile and uplifting spirit. After being diagnosed with MS she began to have some difficulty walking and relied on a cane. Paige did something that we need more of in this world!! She took a hard situation she was facing in her own life and turned it into something positive for others facing a similar challenge. Paige started creating personally decorated canes for other people with MS. She dubbed these as "Happy Canes". 

Paige - we are blown away by your ability to put your own feelings aside to help encourage and lift others!! We are humbled and reminded that deciding to focus on positivity and giving is a way to fuel our hearts and help us endure and move through life in the best way that we can.

We asked Paige how she stays motivated and uplifted. She said, "There are days that are tough, but helping other people helps me stay positive. Even if it is to lend a listening ear, or just being there, I like being that person." ⠀

Thank you, Paige, for lifting the world with your caring heart! We celebrate you for the special gifts you give and your focus on making each day ridiculously awesome for others!

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Sherry M.

Shell Knob, Missouri
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OMG, Sherry! Sherry is a legend. She makes everyone feel special!

There was such an outpouring of love for Sherry, we had to know who she was. As a hairdresser in a small town in Missouri, she is a friend, confidant, and an encourager.

Literally, the town threw a party for her to let her know how much they appreciate her. That's about as ridiculously awesome as you can get in our book! They say that she is so creative and caring with each client, always wanting them to be happy with the result she has created for them...but what became very apparent is that what's most important is that she ultimately makes each person feel valued and loved. Guys, we can all take such a lesson from this. No gesture is too small. People need smiles, hugs, to be heard.

Sherry exemplifies the characteristics of the most special care givers. This time the town, along with Consuela, got to care for her, and we were all so overjoyed! Sherry told us that she's been doing hair for 32 years and that her customers are like family. We know that her customers feel the same way, and that she has touched many lives. Listening can be one of the best gifts.

Thank you, Sherry for always being there! You brighten each day with your smile and love.

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Charlotte S.

Forth Worth, Texas
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Charlotte is the "rock" of her family and friends. She is that person that we all rely on to help us through times of uncertainty, difficulty and sadness. Her peppy, positive spirit encourages those around her to celebrate life to the fullest! 

People like Charlotte are so often the caregivers, and the ones that make us feel better, and always do it because that's who they are...they tend to be selfless and sometimes go without thanks or appreciation for all that they do. Well...Not this time!!! 

Joycelyn, her cousin, told us about Charlotte, and that she felt Consuela is a perfect match to Charlotte's personality. We love that her vibrant, energetic personality aligns with the Consuela pillars, "Laugh Easy" and "Live in Color"...and we agree that she is the epitome of a Consuela Glam Girl. She is an encourager and strives to live and give joy!

For all of the people you have lifted and encouraged, thank you, Charlotte! Laughter and positivity are contagious, so keep doing your thing. It makes a difference! Stop by and say "hello" when you are in Austin!

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Amy M.

New Braunfels, Texas
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Oh Amy, you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind! Hey Amy! Having a bit of a #tonybasil moment, and since Amy is an amazing teacher, it felt like we needed a cheer!!

Amy makes each day ridiculously awesome for her students! As an elementary school teacher, her dedication to her students extends beyond the classroom. From delivering sacks full of anonymous Christmas gifts to driving students and their families to the doctor, she goes the extra mile without expecting anything in return.

She embodies the saying, "it is better to give than to receive", and feels that she has been paid many times over with warmth and love. She shares her positive vibes: "I have the huge pleasure of spending my day with 7-year-olds. In a 7-year-olds life, hugs, forgiveness and laughter are freely given and shared. If someone hugs your leg, it is hard to be frustrated. When someone is excited about a small detail, it is hard to be callous to life. When someone shares their love, it is hard to be discouraged."

Amy, it takes a special person to be a teacher. We celebrate you for giving so much to your students and spreading love and positivity! Children learn by example, so thank you for being an amazing and inspiring #postiverolemodel! Yay Teachers!!!

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Kimberly T.

Austin, Texas
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We were so excited to meet Kimberly!! Okay, it may sound a little silly, but when we learned about Kimberly through one of her friends...it made us want to do a little dance...you know the song from Toy Story, "You've got a friend in me"? We love that one, and we most especially love learning about amazing Consuela Rockstars out there being supportive forces in each other's lives, and great friends to one another. 

Kimberly is a joyful, bright light, and rather than focusing on her own obstacles and struggles she actively seeks out, supports, and provides a space for sisterhood, community, friendship and positive living! Around Consuela HQ, those things make us swoon... To share and receive from the circle of love is something we strive for each day. 

Kimberly, we see you girl, and we think you are ridiculously awesome! 

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Jillian W.

Odem, Texas
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Jillian is a champion and a true inspiration. At just 21 years of age, she's endured more than most people ever will, and has turned her journey into one of triumph and positivity. 

In 2016, as a freshman collegiate athlete, she was comfortable competing on the volleyball court but had to learn to fight in a completely different way; Jillian was diagnosed with a rare pediatric bone cancer called Ewing Sarcoma. She was forced to take time off college and had to endure 26 rounds of chemotherapy along with amputation of her left leg. She remained positive and smiled her way through her chemo treatments. 

Now, just 2 years later, she has focused her attention on spreading awareness as a spokesperson for multiple childhood cancer foundations and has created a foundation called @LivenLeap to help other adolescent and adult patients LEAP (Live Every Adventure Possible). She is also training for the USA women’s sitting volleyball team hoping to make the team for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. 

Jillian shared with us, 'We hear the saying, “live life to the fullest”, all the time, but do we actually do that!? When I was diagnosed with cancer I learned to really live each day as it was my last and to make a difference by being different!'

Jillian, you have touched us in a way that we cannot put into words. Your foundation, your positivity, your zest for life are beyond inspirational. Thank you for being you! 

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Johanne I.

Austin, Texas
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Thank you, Johanne! Your ever-present love and shiniest of smiles makes a difference!! 

Johanne has been a constant champion and helper to our homeless neighbors in and around the Austin area. It's hard to imagine how many lives she's touched. Her husband tells a story of New Year's Eve when the cold weather hit Austin and she called him saying, "Get down here, I have a group of people I just booked hotel rooms for, and need to get them some food and supplies!"

It's so wonderful to know that there are people out there who are helping others....just because it's on their heart to take action. Johanne is a wife and mom with a full-time job, but dedicates her free time to help those in need. She provides food, showers, clothing, haircuts and care via her ministry, Helping our Neighbor. Through her love, compassion and help, she has seen multiple people move from having no home to having a permanent roof over their head! Yaaassss!!!

Johanne shared one of her favorite quotes with us from Mother Teresa, "We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”

Johanne, we recognize and admire you for your dedication and persistence...your "drops in the ocean" are making a difference! Thank you for lifting the world and being a shining star for our neighbors! 

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Jessica D.

Universal City, Texas
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"I'm a grown woman, I can do whatever I want!" Sing it Bey!

Yessss, Jessica!! Whoop!! We applaud you Jessica, because you remind us that it is never too late to achieve your dreams!

After raising her children, Jessica is back in school 20 years later, and graduates in December!! We're guessing every person reading this has something that they have considered doing...something that they'd really like to do, but then we go back and sit on the couch with a bag of chips and watch American Idol instead.

Not Jessica...not only did she work, raise a family and let her light shine every day, she kept her eye on her goals. She did not say, oh well, it's too late...oh well, I'm too tired...oh well, it's not really worth the effort, it's too hard. No! She said I will not be denied. Seriously, going back to school after 20 years, while working is a major accomplishment and it takes a special person to have that drive. 

We love you for your tenacity and courage, Jessica. You are an inspiration for everyone who has a dream. We hope that your story encourages others to know that all things are possible! 

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Katrina R.

Austin, Texas
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Meet Katrina! She is the living embodiment of one our our fav Consuela core pillars, Lift the World! As the founder of Empowered Acro, Katrina literally lifts people both physically and emotionally!Through her Empowered Acro @empoweredacro yoga school, she is able to encourage individuals to request and provide support, find patience with the process of growth, and communicate with compassion....and do some amazing flying! If you are new to the term acro yoga, please check it out. In layman’s terms, it's a super cool acrobatic practice that involves a lot of lifts and positions with at least one partner. There are lots of physical and emotional benefits that are known to be part of the joy it brings! We first learned about Katrina from a student who has been inspired by her personal journey and caring for others. 

As we constantly learn in life, those who give of themselves, always receive more than they give; so it's not surprising that Katrina says she is honored to share the best parts of her journey with others who seek community, self-confidence, and fun! Katrina continually strives to share the gift of strength through the practice of acro yoga and has a scholarship program that is a true gift and light for others and the community.

Katrina, we celebrate you today! Thank you for being a bright light, and for encouraging and inspiring others to Lift Each Other Up!

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Connie

Sugar Land, Texas
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We are not sure that there are enough adjectives and fun emoji's to express all of the great things about Connie, so let's just start with this..she's a ray of sunshine or 10!! Move over adversity, Connie is a force of nature, and she's coming through. She has many roles: mother, daughter, caretaker, provider, employee, and student and somehow manages to rock each of them. She is a nurse who has raised three kids, taken care of parents, and is now getting her masters while still managing everything else. Regardless of the many hardships that she has faced, she continually lives life to the fullest. It is so sweet to hear her kids talk about how proud of her and thankful they are for all that she is and all that she has accomplished. No is not an answer in her book! Getting down or feeling sorry for herself is not an answer in her book. Her faith in God is her driving force and she trusts she can "leave it in His hands" and everything will work out according to His plan.

We are inspired by you, Connie. It's so encouraging to learn about people who continually strive to make each day new, people who are courageous and go forward, not having the answers, but never quitting. This is why we started the It's Not About the Bag program, because people like you remind us to give thanks and stay faithful in our journey. Love and Hugs!

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IT’S NOT ABOUT THE BAGtm. IT’S WHERE YOU TAKE IT.

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