On October 14, 2012, female empowerment organization, iGlow Mentoring, hosted their Pink Pearls & Pretty Dresses Mother/Daughter Empowerment Brunch in Rosemont, IL. The event was dedicated to both funding the organization’s numerous programs for young Chicago-area girls and to empower healthy mother/daughter relationships. The afternoon event included a brunch, silent auction, and two very special guests: 2012 Olympic All-Around Gold Medalist Gabrielle “Gabby” Douglas and her mother Natalie Hawkins.
The event had a very interesting kick off. Ms. Douglas arrived a little over two hours late to the press conference (there was a rumor that she has a stalker and security had to run a few safety checks before Douglas’ arrival). The press had very little time to get acquainted with Douglas. However, the Olympic star still had some very inspiring comments to lend to fans.
Having left her Virginia Beach home and family to train professionally in Iowa at age 14, Douglas definitely knows what it takes to go after a dream. She says, “If you know that you have a dream then you go after it and you fight for it and if you love something and you have a passion for it then you don’t let anyone or anything stop you.”
Douglas’ mother, Natalie Hawkins, has been credited as being her daughter’s support system through her daughter’s Olympic journey. Her words of advice to her daughter before becoming a world-class athlete? “I will support you in anything. I want you to come home as a winner and a champion.”
Douglas has become a superstar to both the athletic world and to young girls. In addition to being the first female gymnast of color to win gold in the all-around, she’s now been awarded Sportswoman of the Year by the Women’s Sports Foundation. The pint-sized powerhouse has an inspiring message for all her fans. “Anything is possible and though you may have struggles and difficulties and hard days, I promise you if you can overcome those days you can accomplish anything.”
After achieving so much before even graduating from high school, you may wonder what’s next for 16-year-old Douglas. According to USA Today, Douglas is currently deciding which college she will attend and will make the decision before November 14, 2012.
By:Kennedy Ward, Junior, Morgan Park High School