Melissa Sherfey-Newton inspired by Randa Iteim
Inspiration can present itself in many forms, but you simply are the definition of “inspiration.” I am honored to call you a dear friend and thankful to have shared life with you these past few years. I want to share a glimpse into your incredible life with others – your motivation and strength, what propels you forward, and what drives you toward tomorrow.
I remember reading one of your assignments during your first semester in college. You took the class to improve your writing so you could inspire women from your home country. You desired to motivate others to follow their dreams and convey through writing that it was possible. Through your stories about life in Sudan, teaching about your culture, pursuing your GED in America, and studying to become a United States citizen, I have learned about perseverance and determination regardless of life’s circumstances. You have pursued these things while working, being a wife and mother to four kids, and adapting to a new culture as a refugee. It’s an understatement to say I am inspired. I am inspired by your desire to be a voice for others in your country, advocate for women to dream and achieve their goals, and most of all, teach your own children that they can achieve anything they set out to do. You are a leader who is respected in your community and the community at large. You have built trust as a leader where trust is hard to find. You have a gift for engaging people with your infectious personality, your generosity, and a smile that warms up the soul. You have a strength that motivates people to action.
Thank you for being that inspiration and voice that reminds me to keep advocating for others, but even more, thank you for your friendship.