Throwback Thankful Thursday:) My Sister, JoAnn and Women’s History Montho

12 Mar

“The success of every woman should be the inspiration to another. We should raise each other up. Make sure you’re very courageous: be strong, be extremely kind, and above all be humble. ”

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With March being Women’s History month, I thought it only appropriate to recognize the women in my life who have made a difference in making this a better world. Of course, the most important influence in my life was my mother, Trini Armenta, who was an inspiration and role model for, not only her own children and siblings, but for everyone who came to know her. In her own way, she played an important role in making the world a better place by raising her daughters to be strong, hardworking, talented and courageous women.

By her example of strength and tenacity, she was an inspiration for my sister, JoAnn Armenta, who pioneered and persevered her way through a male dominated field many years ago. Jo Ann is my inspiration of what a strong independent and determined woman can achieve.

Jo Ann Armenta was the very first Latina Illinois State Trooper, serving her community from 1979 until her retirement well over twenty years later. She blazed a trail for other Latinas, and all women for that matter, in the field of law, enforcement, back in the day when women were still expected to be home cooking dinner for their husbands, and raising a brood of children.

I can’t imagine how tough it was to get through the grueling training and studying to become a State Trooper, much less dealing with the less than generous or cooperative male counterparts who outwardly showed their disrespect for women “on the job.” Jo Ann never backed down from any challenge and never let her gender dissuade her from being the best State Trooper that she could be. That is inspirational, and that determination has never ceased.

Jo Ann Armenta’s photo may never grace the cover of any magazine, nor will she be recognized in a book or on the news as an outstanding woman in history, but she, like many other women just like her, have paved the way for all women to step up, step forward, and make a difference.

This tenacious woman still carries on her legacy through her generous support of Latina women in her community by sponsoring scholarships to college students, serving on the local library board, she has volunteered with the Salvation Army, and currently has spearheaded the CHEF program, Community Harvest Educational Foundation, whose goal is to bring healthy nutritious food and lifestyle awareness to the community. These are just a few of her many accolades and accomplishments.

Jo Ann Armenta may not be mentioned in any history book, but in “my book,” she is worthy of outstanding recognition for Women’s History Month.

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