Martha Uroza, Comal
Martha Uroza, Comal

“Strength to me is being able to work in a team and working hard to learn more each day. I have a lot of inspiration to keep working hard, especially working hard in the kitchen, but my family is my focus.”

Rosa Landa, Comal
Rosa Landa, Comal

“Strength for me began at age eight. I started taking care of my siblings at that age, at the same time I was going to school, cooking for my siblings. For me, that combination —taking care of others and myself — that is strength. My dream now is to have my own business in the United States and eventually bring my business back to Mexico."

Genet Gebeye, Comal
Genet Gebeye, Comal

“I have been divorced for 24 years, and I have three daughters and five grandchildren. In 2001, I moved from Africa to Denver. I love to cook and want to open my own restaurant. God helped give me the strength to get here.”

Vian Alnidawi, Comal
Vian Alnidawi, Comal

“For more than twenty years, I was dependent on my husband. In the Middle East, I lived in Iraq and Syria, I could work occasionally, but not have a career; I didn’t know the good feelings that come along with empowerment and decision-making.”

Raymunda Carreon (left) and Gisela Juarez, Comal
Raymunda Carreon (left) and Gisela Juarez, Comal

“My family: my children and my grandparents. My family needs me to be strong, and I need to be strong in order to move ahead. There have been hard times; my oldest son passed away a year ago, and it’s been hard for me, but I have to be there for my youngest son during this time.”

“I am strong for my three kids because I want them to be in a better space.”

Martha Ordonez, Comal
Martha Ordonez, Comal

“Waking up takes strength. My motivation is my family; I have three children. My mother is my role model because she was a young single mother, and she taught me everything.”

Silvia Hernandez, Comal
Silvia Hernandez, Comal

“For me, strength is similar to being powerful. I feel women are powerful people: as moms, wives, friends, employees, everything. We’re more emotional, but to me, strength is all of that together."

Maria Sanchez, Comal
Maria Sanchez, Comal

“Strength to me is to work hard. I work at Comal now to keep myself going. My leg hurts me a lot. Even though I am sixty years old, I am happy I can still work here. For me, it’s about working hard and working hard as long as you can.”

Sara Gebre, Comal
Sara Gebre, Comal

“Strength means to be patient and to keep going, despite what life throws at you. I am from Ethiopia, and we socialize a lot. Talking with my husband and my friends helps me to be strong.”

Erika Rojas, Comal
Erika Rojas, Comal

“My mom took care of all of my siblings and me and taught me to cook, and now it’s my turn to take care of her and my kids. I grew up wanting to work and to be independent, so I started working when I was eight. I had to grow fast, and that makes me strong.”

Jodi Henni, Warren Village
Jodi Henni, Warren Village

“Advocate. We women need to advocate for ourselves more. You have to have a lot of strength to whatever group of people are telling you they know better than you. We have so many taboos, and if we go against the mainstream, that takes strength. I have premature menopause and a special-needs child, and both of those take constant advocacy for what people expect.”

Annette Alexander, Warren Village
Annette Alexander, Warren Village

“As a mom, for me, strength means having dedication and perseverance and going the extra mile being a parent, especially being a single parent. You have to be strong to put yourself out there and not be afraid to fail.”

Carla Berrera, Warren Village
Carla Berrera, Warren Village

“My grandma is who I think of when I think about strength. She always taught us to face fear, and that’s what strength is. If you’re afraid of it, go for it.”

Jessie Dorris, Warren Village
Jessie Dorris, Warren Village

“I think it had a different definition when I was in my twenties. Now it means resilience and not being afraid to open up and share information you might assume people would frown upon. I’m a recovering alcoholic, and I share that about myself so much now...I’m not afraid to share stuff like that. I think that makes me pretty strong, and I would think that about other people.”

Brittaney Caldwell, Warren Village
Brittaney Caldwell, Warren Village

“Strength for me means being a mom and making sacrifices. It’s putting my son before myself but also trying to find the balance of caring for myself so I can provide for him.”

Deidra Pittman, Warren Village
Deidra Pittman, Warren Village

“Strength means to me not giving up when you’re tired, when you’re sick, when you feel like you’ve done all that you could. Strength means to me, as a woman, standing strong and continuing to speak my own truth. When it comes to my school, my work, my child, my health, I have to be like Superwoman."

Johnitta Medina, Warren Village
Johnitta Medina, Warren Village

“Strength, as a woman and as a mother, is continuing to do what is necessary for your family no matter what. Even when it feels like you don’t have anything left, you still have to get up in the morning, put a smile on, do your best and go forth in the world and try to make it great.”

Jami Helmig, Warren Village
Jami Helmig, Warren Village

“Strength, to me, means continuing to go on even when all of life’s situations want you to stop. Following the goals you want to achieve and not stopping and rising to the occasion is important.”

Carly Macgill, Women’s Bean Project
Carly Macgill, Women’s Bean Project

Strength means getting up every morning and putting your best foot forward. You have to have strength within yourself before you can portray strength. Right now I’m at Women’s Bean Project because I know I need something to help me see my full potential and how strong I can be as a woman. I found the strength within myself to make this step. I was laid off after eleven years in 2017, and that was a downward spiral, so now I’m here and can get back up to where I was.”

Christina Mergil, Women’s Bean Project
Christina Mergil, Women’s Bean Project

“I think being able to overcome yourself is strength. Normally, I judge myself more harshly than anyone else. I think overcoming that is strength.”

Lenedra Cox-Miller, Women’s Bean Project
Lenedra Cox-Miller, Women’s Bean Project

“Life takes strength to me. I’ve lost a lot in the last 25 years.”

Felonis Hernandez, Women’s Bean Project
Felonis Hernandez, Women’s Bean Project

“Strength means everything to me. If I lost strength in myself, I’d give up. I had to stay strong through my struggle and be independent as a woman. Strength means something more than being independent, but also being supportive to other women. I have to stay strong to be a good grandmother...and to keep my family together. It goes so deep.”

Felisha Bettale, Women’s Bean Project
Felisha Bettale, Women’s Bean Project

“Strength to me means not giving up in your darkest times. You continue going, knowing that there’s a light at the end of tunnel. I’ve been to the bottom. I’ve lost everything — including my faith — and right now is where I’m getting it back and finding myself.”

Corina Allen, Women’s Bean Project
Corina Allen, Women’s Bean Project

“I think a strong woman is someone who can help her fellow women and raises not just herself, but those around her. I think bringing other people up with you and not leaving people behind takes strength.”

Cynthia Ibañez, Women’s Bean Project
Cynthia Ibañez, Women’s Bean Project

“Being strong is continuing on and saying, ‘This didn’t break me,’ even when you’ve lost someone you love, had the tables turned on you, lost a job.”

Kelly Garrison, Women’s Bean Project
Kelly Garrison, Women’s Bean Project

“There are a lot of strong women and a lot of independent women, but it’s always felt like a smaller majority. I don’t think being a woman has everything to do with it; I think it’s more about the person and what they’ve been through. I think women are more powerful when we stand together.”

Stephanie Segura, Women’s Bean Project
Stephanie Segura, Women’s Bean Project

“Strength means to me never let anyone kick you while you’re down and to let go of the past and to just make a better future. I realized that meaning when I went to prison. Coming to Denver from Greeley has made me change: new environment, new people, sober. It’s made me respect myself and love myself as a strong woman.”

Keri, Women’s Bean Project
Keri, Women’s Bean Project

“I think strength is perseverance and continuing to want to live more than you want to die. Three years ago, I was shot in the back of the head. After that, I was homeless on the street, in shelters, in jail... . Finding a reason to want to live more than I wanted to die was really hard. Last year, I spent some time with my son after it had been a really long time. I was caught up in addiction and living under a bridge, and as bad as it could get, it got. I spent a weekend with my son, and I overdosed in front of him. Something changed in me. We had a really long conversation of what wanting to live looked like. From that moment on, I vowed I would change my life. That was a year ago yesterday.”