Glamour Community College Women of the Year
How it Started
It has taken three months for me to sit down and write about July 13, 2021, when I was named one of Glamour Magazine’s Community College Women of the Year. Since then, I have been riding a wave of emotions as I processed this enormous acknowledgment placed before me.
In late May, I received a Zoom chat message from my boss in the Writing Lab that only said, “You may receive an email from some thing I filled out. I am not sure lol.”
I replied to him with a resounding, “Ok!” Oddly, I had no idea what he was talking about in his message. Usually, I am pretty curious, but I did not ask any of the questions spring up in my mind for some reason. However, on June 3, 2021, an email answered all my questions. My boss had nominated me for Glamour Magazine 2021 College Women of the Year, community college edition. I received a request from Perrie Samotin, the digital director of Glamour, in my school’s email account. She wanted to speak with me about my nomination.
The very next day, which was a Friday, I found myself nervously waiting for a Zoom call to start with Sam. We spoke briefly, about ten minutes. Mostly, we talked about myself and my goals. At the end of the meeting, she mentioned the editor-in-chief, Samantha Barry, likes to speak with candidates and would be available for a quick five-minute conversation. I agreed, but little did I know I was not prepared for what happened next.
The following Monday was the date set to meet with “Sam.” There was a lot of the hustle and bustle around getting an agreement signed to use parts of the Zoom called with the EIC for promotional reasons. I did not have objections and got the forms over ASAP to ensure everything was in place for Monday. They also asked for my phone number. At this time, I only had a small thought in the back of my head that all these preparations were somewhat extensive for a short chat.
In truth, I started thinking maybe I had already been selected, and the fanfare was in place to make the announcement. However, I could not get my hopes up. I spent the weekend combating the “what-if?” voice tap dancing around my head.
A Surprise Coming
Glamour made the official announcement on July 13, 2021, and my college and local media picked up the story along with Spectrum News and WHIO, who came to my home to interview. I had features with Dayton.com, Dayton Daily News, Sinclair Community College, Today.com. In addition to the articles written for the Glamour website.
Margarita Harris is the fantastic writer who interviewed me for my profile on Glamour. I love how the piece turned out, and it made me sob uncontrollably. There were seven winners in total, and two of us spoke with the FLOTUS.
Finally, Monday evening rolls around with me, ready to make a good impression in a limited amount of time. I decided just to let my natural personality fly and see what happens. I donned my best Naruto X Hello Kitty T-shirt and perched comfortably in my chair. As I waited, I would get text messages from the Glamour staff asking, reassuming they were coming. No worries, I would have waited as long as needed. I was already in the Zoom meeting, just waiting on Sam to turn on her camera.
When the camera clicked on, it was not Sam Barry, editor-in-chief of Glamour Magazine. Instead sat Dr. Jill Biden, First Lady of the United States (FLOTUS), staring back at me. In all honesty, I thought it was someone’s Zoom background until she started to speak.
To say it was a surprise would be the biggest understatement of my life.
Looking back, I had not thought much about it at the time, but I was mentally exhausted. Oddly enough, I did not understand how extended excitement could wear me out. It is so engaging and funny how I can continue to learn about myself well into my 40s.
It has been since early June that I have been on various emotional or mental highs. I knew the lows could be draining but not the joys too. Daniel, my therapist, and I had talked about this for several weeks.
Consequently, I admit it had been a little different being in a state of gratitude, humbleness, and modesty, excitement, and so on at the same time. While I am used to being my own cheerleader, it’s how I built my self-esteem, self-worth, self-love, and self-respect; it was weird that so many are cheering me on. Often, I have felt bad for not knowing how to respond aside from politely.
Shortly after the announcement, I had a celebratory party at my home. It was beautiful seeing my living room full of friends from work, school, and other places. It had me in tears; I have never felt this visible in my life.
It is beautiful.