In May of 2017, I was honored to be selected as one of twelve “Real Life Woman Superheroes” by Studio Movie Grill for a red carpet early screening of Warner Bros Pictures Wonder Woman and awarded the “Opening Hearts and Minds” award. From over 700 nominations, we were selected based upon our dedication to helping others, resiliency in the face of tough circumstances, and professional achievements. We were invited on a whirlwind two day complimentary trip flown into Dallas. We stayed at the Omni Dallas and honored at a meet and greet luncheon with the executives including the CEO of Studio Movie Grill. I had the opportunity to meet all the other women selected across the country who were also doing great work. Each of us had our own niche and area of need we focused on in serving others. It was an overwhelming and powerful networking opportunity. We were then all provided a free hair and make-up session with local stylists in preparation for our red carpet walk for the early screening of Wonder Woman that evening.
Upon arrival at the theater, we were greeted by the media to discuss our work. For me, it has been serving the veteran and military population in the Houston area in getting them access to resources, helping them get housed, having intimate discussions in de-escalating mental health crisis and actively suicidal thoughts, and helping them find employment. I also had the unique opportunity to help a woman veteran write an essay that ultimately was selected for her to win a vehicle for her and her family. Furthermore, I lead a 300+ veteran volunteer group in which we plan and execute service projects in one of Houston’s poverty stricken neighborhoods, the very neighborhood I grew up in as a child. It is through these actions that led me to the opportunity to be recognized that day and being about to share about those experiences and my motivations.
Later, we were presented with a personalized glass blown award and a $1,000 check to the charity of our choice in which I chose, The Mission Continues, the veteran nonprofit that I serve with in community service projects. Then, we capped off the night with the viewing of Wonder Woman, days before it was released nationally.
It was a wonderful and heartwarming experience that will stay with me forever. I was honored to be selected among such an extraordinary group of women, many of whom I am still in contact today via social media. Plus, to also be recognized in association with Wonder Woman, the movie, which went on to reach high acclaim and record setting sales was surreal. To this day, my two sons associate me with Wonder Woman and any time they see the logo or merchandise out and about, they say to me “look momma, that’s you!”.