Mujeres Poderosas, six

Sandra Salinas finds strength and power in rearing her children and making a home for them and her husband. Spending time with Sandra and her family reminded me of my mother's Alzheimer's diagnosis and how it forced me to shift my identity. I went from being a career woman whose work paid her way to being a daughter funneled into a caregiving role. It took swallowing my pride to admit that some years I earned very little due to spending much more time caregiving than working. Sandra reminded me that there is power in those identities that society tends to overlook because it more often values what we do than who we are.

Sandra in her Fort Worth home.

Sandra in her Fort Worth home.

The Salinas family after school, with Sandra putting in volunteer hours and her husband Jaime helping the girls with their homework.

The Salinas family after school, with Sandra putting in volunteer hours and her husband Jaime helping the girls with their homework.

Mujeres Poderosas, five

She founded and runs three Fort Worth businesses--a roofing company, a waste disposal company, and a real estate company. This is one busy woman and has a curio cabinet full of awards attesting to her business acumen. Sandra McGlothlin is a role model for getting things done!

Sandra, on the balcony of her 27th floor condo in downtown Fort Worth. Owning a roofing company means you can't be afraid of heights.

Sandra, on the balcony of her 27th floor condo in downtown Fort Worth. Owning a roofing company means you can't be afraid of heights.

Sandra walking on the campus of her roofing and disposal company with one of her managers.

Sandra walking on the campus of her roofing and disposal company with one of her managers.

Mujeres Poderosas, four

Cynthia Montes' story moved me deeply. Despite losing her father at an early age, she applied to Texas Christian University, an expensive private school in Fort Worth. She paid her way in part by working several jobs, including mowing lawns. Now she's a counselor to other students at TCU, and she continues to challenge herself with races such as the Cowtown half marathon, the Tough Mudder, and others. She is indeed, a powerful woman role model.

Cynthia Montes on the Texas Christian University Campus. 

Cynthia Montes on the Texas Christian University Campus. 

Cynthia Montes shares a moment of joy with her mother, Irma.

Cynthia Montes shares a moment of joy with her mother, Irma.

Mujeres poderosas, three

Sharon Herrera is another one of the women featured in the Fort Worth Human Relations Commission project, Mujeres Poderosas. A lesbian activist who founded and heads LGBTQ S.A.V.E.S, a Fort Worth organization dedicated to supporting LGBTQ youths, she knows the struggles of dealing with sexual orientation issues.

Sharon Herrera at home, in the apartment she shares with her wife, Marcel.

Sharon Herrera at home, in the apartment she shares with her wife, Marcel.

Sharon shows me a photo of the aunt who saved her life when she was a suicidal teen struggling with the condemnation of others due to her sexual orientation. Now, Sharon helps young people who are facing struggles of their own.

Sharon shows me a photo of the aunt who saved her life when she was a suicidal teen struggling with the condemnation of others due to her sexual orientation. Now, Sharon helps young people who are facing struggles of their own.