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Inspired: Ashley Folkner & Jean Folkner

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. 

Jean has shown me what true friendship looks like. She makes people feel seen and loved in every interaction.”

Ashley Folkner, Inspired by Jean Folkner

The woman who inspires me is my Aunt Jean. This resilient and bright soul is a breast cancer survivor whose selfless service and dedication to others has always stood out. No matter what she is faced with, Jean always radiates warmth and kindness.

She spent the past seven years being her sister’s caregiver, driving her to dialysis three times a week and making sure all her needs were met. She went above and beyond for her in every way. Jean has shown me what true friendship looks like. She makes people feel seen and loved in every interaction. I remember she would give little gifts to people in toll booths, security guards, and other people that might not get the recognition they deserve. And of course, she always shows up to my job with gifts and treats for me and my friends on holidays.

I am an artist for my career, and my first “studio” was a drawer in her home when I was a child. She always had art supplies for me to use and nurtured my creativity by doing fun projects and crafts with me. I wish everybody was lucky enough to have an Aunt Jean.

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