During the height of the COVID-19 crisis, I wanted to say thank you to first responders and essential workers for risking their lives for the greater good during a truly uncertain, dark, & scary time. I asked for nominations and was able to gift several women a piece of jewelry as a small token of my gratitude for their selflessness. Raj and Allie are just two of the amazing women I was able to learn about.
I contacted Raj after her friend, Lauren, nominated her to be an Empowerment Project recipient, and I knew right away I’d met someone very special. Raj’s profession has long involved helping others; this is true of her current position as an RN with the FDNY, and in her previous role with the World Trade Center Health Program which, she explained, was created to help first responders who experienced WTC-related health issues in the aftermath of 9/11. In response to the pandemic, her job now involves assessing and evaluating first responders who are experiencing covid symptoms— “some of whom are gravely ill,” she explained. Raj amazed me with her selflessness and her unyielding desire to serve, but on top of an emotionally and physically taxing job, she’s also a single-mom who graduated with a degree as a Nurse Practitioner and closed on her first home during the pandemic! Raj is someone who clearly lives her values through action, and her outlook on life is particularly inspiring: “Every day brings a new challenge, and I am happy to face it with a smile on my face and with open mindedness and determination to be better than yesterday.” Raj exemplifies the goodness in all of us, as well as our capacity for connection. She told me, “We all have moments of doubt and weakness and we all feel overwhelmed at times. But we need to know that we are not alone and we are all doing our part to lift each other up.” I am so thrilled that Raj accepted the nomination and selected a necklace for herself.
The Selina King Empowerment Project seeks to bring connection and beauty into the lives of deserving women. If you know someone who is selfless, loving and has done incredible acts of kindness for others, we would like to meet them. To nominate, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.