Women Celebrating Women
The word inspire is defined as the act of filling someone with the urge or ability to do something, and here in Chattanooga, we have no shortage of incredible women who motivate those around them day in and day out. Whether they intentionally set out to be a role model or random acts of kindness are simply in their DNA, these women are making the world a better place. Read on to learn more about the individuals who encourage others to be the best version of themselves told by those they inspired most.
Photography by Emily Long
inspired: Kat Wright | inspiration: Rebecca Styles
When I moved to Chattanooga 15 years ago, I quickly realized this was a mid-sized city with a small-town feel, but a huge heart for its community. There are few people who embody a servant’s heart more than Rebecca Cruz Styles. She began broadcasting on-air in 2002, with a love for music that prompted the region’s first wave of entertainment reporting. She was the only person I saw on-air who looked like me, pioneering bilingual newscasts to reach the Latinx community. She has advocated for the vulnerable by working with organizations fighting domestic abuse and volunteering for the Homeless Coalition.
I am also the beneficiary of her compassion. Nearly a decade ago, I had a very serious car wreck that required in-patient rehabilitation out of state. In my absence, Rebecca championed the “Kitty Kat Ball,” a fundraiser featuring music and a silent auction. When I looked to return to full-time employment, she hired me when others thought I would be a liability. Her professional life continues to exemplify the same spirit, as she now works for the Erlanger Hospital Foundation. She inspires me by challenging others, but never demeaning them, and employing generosity while still being accountable.