Adam had received another letter from his children. This one concerned one of their immigrant friends. He decided to share it with his management team as another lesson from the blue highways.
We want to share with you a story of one of our immigrant friends. Her birth name was Pilar but she changed it to Jodie. She is one of the most inspiring people we know, but she doesn’t like to talk about herself.
Jodie had been separated from her parents when they were sent back to Mexico. The immigration authorities didn’t know about Jodie. She moved through the foster care system for five years before she was adopted by loving parents. She was very bright and became known as the teacher’s aide throughout elementary school. Jodie helped other children with subjects they didn’t understand. She was a calming influence when another child was upset. During playground time, she stayed in the room and read a book or helped straighten desks. Jodie was shy but had a remarkable ability to relate to others when needed.
In middle and high school, she became involved with volunteering. She especially enjoyed working with nursing homes since she never knew her grandparents. In virtually every room in the nursing home throughout the city, there were pictures from Jodie on the walls. This is when we got to know her. She was excellent in math and science and we helped her with her English skills.
With Jodie’s math and science abilities, she began to get girls to think about STEM majors in college. With all of Jodie’s volunteering, she didn’t spend much time with normal high school activities. She didn’t even turn in her service hours for special recognition at graduation. She just didn’t feel good about being recognized for being helpful. But when students selected students for superlatives, Jodie was the unanimous selection for Most Inspiring.
Jodie went on to college and earned a degree in engineering. She was the top student in her class and could have had her choice of any job. She decided to work for a company that had maquiladora operations in Mexico. She lives in the U.S. but travels to Mexico frequently.
While in Mexico, Jodie has encouraged young girls to advance their math/science skills. Her company has strongly encouraged her. A number of the girls that Jodie has mentored are now in college, some in the U.S. She has encouraged her company to sponsor their educations.
While Jodie is still very young, she has made a difference. She has been offered promotion opportunities but turned them down. She has found her life’s purpose.
Jordan & Taylor
Adam concluded his message to his management team by challenging them: “All us sitting here today have been blessed with the resources to get an education as well as a well-paying job. Think about what Jodie has done at her young age. Can any of us point to those we have inspired to raise their position in life? I hope the answer is yes, but it’s not too late if your answer is no.”
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“Life is about making an impact, not making an income.”
– Kevin Kruse (historian)