Recently, I went to Washington, DC to meet up with other like-minded bankers who are focused on the triple bottom line -social, environmental and financial.

I have to admit it was pretty inspiring.  Besides the fact of being in our nation’s Capitol and hearing great stories from these banks about the impact they are making, I found something even greater- the people.

On my way back to the airport, I met Rosalyn.  She is a driver for one of those on-call taxi cab services available through a mobile phone app.  The back seat had two comfortable Washington Redskin pillows so I figured she was a native DC’er.  She warmly accepted this Chicago Bears fan.  “As long as you’re not a Patriots lover”, she said with a huge grin and a laugh. 

During that ride, I learned that Rosalynn has four children all in their 20s except for her youngest daughter who was graduating in mid-June. Having a daughter who is graduating this month from high school as well, we instantly connected.  Rosalynn went on to tell me how important it was for her to teach her children that there are more things outside of the struggles they’ve experienced in their neighborhood.  “If I don’t teach them and give them opportunities, the only opportunity they will have in our neighborhood is a life of crime and drugs.”  Rosalynn had fought for every dollar she saved so her children could be on the swimming team competing  across the country – giving them experiences they normally wouldn’t have in the neighborhood they grew up in.  She taught them the value of working hard and tenacity. 

Rosalynn has every right to be proud; her daughter is headed off to college this year and plans to continue into law school. 

Before I knew it, my ride to the airport ended.  I regret not having an opportunity to ask her more about her personal inspiration.  After I grabbed my luggage from the trunk, I received this no holds barred hug from her and she said, “Girl, we got to be proud of our children.  They are our future.”

And as she pulled away in her Washington Redskin car, I realized she inspired me.

Thank you, Rosalynn, for telling me your story.