Reflecting on last weekend’s International Women’s Day celebration, we decided to share some stories of why we appreciate the women in our lives.

Joey: Sometimes I sit there and think, and I realize that if it weren’t for my mom, I’d probably be laying somewhere face down in a ditch. (This is a reference to one of my mom and I’s favorite shows, The Goldbergs. My mom will get the joke) She’s the one who did most of the research during the process. The one who found Denison, the one who made me realize this is where I wanted to go. Without her and her organization (okay fine) and her nagging, there is not a chance I would be where I am today. Without her support, I would most definitely not be pursuing my dream of a career in sports media. I thank her for that every day.

Liz: I would say instead of thinking about one specific woman, I think of the qualities of the women I encounter. Women tend to be the strongest figures in my life and around the world. From being role models in communities, households, various workplaces and creative spaces, a woman shouldn’t go unnoticed. Despite societal structures creating a persistent wage gap between men and women, which according to The National Women’s Law Center, leads to more single or primarily women households to fall into poverty than male-led households, women still persist. Whether that be through marching physically in the streets to protest equality for all to constantly being support systems for their loved ones (women typically being better at expressing emotions than men) I’ve found that women, with their traits of integrity, devotion, kindness, confidence, charisma and decisiveness radiate and thrive. These traits make me proud to identify as a woman.

Max: Regardless of how many mom appreciation posts people feature on their Instagrams, moms will always be underrated. I love my mom and I am so thankful for everything she has done to give me every opportunity I could ever ask for. My mom is my go-to person for any problem I have in my life. She’s understanding. She’s loving. And of course, she’s weird. If anyone says their family is normal, or that their mom is normal, then I just don’t believe you. I wouldn’t trade my mom for anyone! Moms are great, and women in general are amazing.

Devin: It is important to recognize the progress that had been made in the women’s rights movement over the past century, while still understanding the tremendous amount of improvement that still needs to be done, and that we must all be allies in this movement towards true equality.