Inspired: Kia Ruffin & Monica Gordon

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 Pérez Long


inspired: Kia Ruffin

inspiration: Monica Gordon

I have known Mrs. Monica Gordon all my life. She was my second-grade teacher at Woodmore Elementary years ago, so to see her as the principal of Tyner Middle Academy amazes me daily. Mrs. Gordon is a woman of strength and inspiring energy. She goes above and beyond for her students, past and present, and we rely on her guidance and expertise as we navigate life.

Over the years, Mrs. Gordon has helped me grow professionally by sharing opportunities, helping me to level-set, and challenging me to strive for greatness. She is a wealth of knowledge, and I take every opportunity to learn from her. Mrs. Gordon has a passion for helping others and empowers everyone she comes across to be better than they were the day before!

I knew my career path would be working with youth in some capacity because of Mrs. Gordon’s influence. Professionally and personally, she has been present at every milestone in my life. I am grateful for her wisdom, support, and love. One thing that I value about our relationship is that she lets me know I am seen and heard, and I am sure that others would speak the same sentiments. Mrs. Gordon inspires me to keep breaking those glass ceilings and to help others along the way. 


“She is a wealth of knowledge, and I take every opportunity to learn from her.”


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