Meet Andrea Mills.
Andrea has been married to her husband, CJ, for over 18 years, and have four beautiful children. Andrea shares how she feels privileged to have been able to stay home with her children since “the doctor placed my first baby in my arms almost sixteen years ago, but that has not stopped me from serving the community around me.”
Aside from her involvement with YWCA Northeast Indiana, she has also been involved in a variety of roles in her local church.
YWCA asks: What does an empowering woman mean to you?
Andrea: I see many women, myself included at times, that live in a space of fear, doubt, and insecurity. We allow these emotions to build walls that convince us we are incapable of big things and unworthy of the opportunity to even try. Being an empowering woman means being a cheerleader, an advocate, and a friend; building other women up, instead of tearing them down; and being the voice that says “you can” and not “you cannot”. An empowering woman means offering the very same support to others that I desire in my own life. And whether I have that support or not, I can certainly give it.
YWCA Asks: In what ways do you feel that you empower other women?
Andrea: In so many small ways. I will likely never be a world changer, but I hope to be a community changer. God put me here, in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to be a light to those who need it. Specifically, the mamas. I am passionate about helping new moms see that they are exactly the mom their child needs. I love running baby shower gift drives for mamas in need, or just rounding up formula and diapers for local organizations. It might not seem like much, but I realized a few years back, that doing small things is better than doing no things.
But most importantly, I am raising two young women of my own. I hope I empower them every day to know that they are strong and beautiful, and that they can do whatever they set their mind and hearts on. I hope I instill in them the kind of confidence that creates a bold kindness that desires to empower other women as well.
YWCA Asks: Would you please share an experience or tidbit of knowledge that would help other women? This could be a lesson learned, or motivational story, or information that you would like to share to help educate others.
Andrea: Find your talents and use them. Your talents and abilities will not be the same as the next person's. That is the beauty of humanity! So instead of wishing for the talents of the woman next door, celebrate her for hers and then find your own. Because she is probably wishing she was you. Isn’t that how women work?
Spread positivity everywhere. The next time you are shopping, tell a woman you like her shirt, shoes, hair, purse, etc. I can guarantee you will put a smile on her face and boost her confidence for the day. And yours too.
Do the small things. You may feel like your small acts of service are worthless in the big picture, but you never know how each small act impacts the one receiving it. And the snowball effect it will have. Your efforts are ALWAYS worth it.
You are worthy. I wish every woman believed herself worthy, but I know that is not the case. So, if you have not heard it lately…you are worthy of love. You are worthy of respect. YOU ARE WORTHY.