“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
My great-grandmother, a Swedish immigrant, left her homeland at the age of twenty to pursue her American dream; my grandmother, a WWII nurse, outranked her own husband in the Army; and my mother, a purposeful entrepreneur, started her own business while she was pregnant with me. Such success undoubtedly required sacrifice, and yet if I could ask them why they did these things, I know that each of these women would selflessly answer, "For you."

Though scholars, pundits and business practitioners may think otherwise, I have never considered being a woman a disadvantage. For this outlook, I thank the incredible women that share my blood and have taught me, through their example, that I can charter my own way.

Be it as a mother, a mentor or a model of success, I want to honor my ancestry while inspiring confidence in the women who will follow me — confidence that they can accomplish what others might only dream and what still others might only question. Most of all, I want the consequences of my work to outlast my life so that when I am asked what it was all for, I, too, can answer, "For you."

— Caren Kelleher