Women all across the world are celebrating International Women’s Day today, but Diana Jahovaj, Head Start Center Director at High Point in Clearwater, FL says she tries to empower women all year long through her words and actions.
“I leave a hand-written note, a thoughtful card or a flower for the teachers and other women in my life. I tell moms dropping off their kids, ‘keep doing what you are doing. You are a superhero.’ Some days you can tell how much they need to hear encouragement,” says Diana.
Diana is originally from Albania and says as a kid she remembers the large celebrations that would happen in Europe around this holiday. She wants to bring those memories alive here. Last year she took a handful of women from work out to lunch to share their stories. This year she has a poem, goodie bag and flower for each woman at the center.
“My happiness comes from seeing others happy,” says Diana.
Growing up, Diana’s first role model was her mother. A pediatrician by day and loving supportive mom at night, Diana says her mom was giving, warm and kind. Though she did not follow her mom’s path as a healer, she knew from the time she was in kindergarten that she wanted to be a teaching in the classroom. Now as an educator, wife, and mother– Diana thinks of her mom often, the woman who taught her to be kind, be real, be humble.
Mother Teresa, also from Albania is another woman who has made an impression on Diana’s life. Everything she has read about her has taught Diane to do things for people not for who they are, but because of who you are! DO IT ANYWAY!
Referred to as Diana’s adopted grandmother, Maya Angelou’s achievements also speaks to her. She reminds herself daily of Angelou’s words, ‘my mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style.’
“I believe it would be more empowering for other woman, who may come from modest means at best, to see just how much I have accomplished through my beliefs and perseverance,” says Diana.
Diana’s message to women today: You are beautiful, intelligent, courageous, loyal and lovable. You are stronger than you believe. You have greater powers than you know.