Last week, on Friday, March 8th, the world celebrated International Women’s Day. Personally, I have been blessed to have had the influence of strong, kind and successful women all around me my entire life, and I feel I owe a lot of the success I’ve had over the years to them. Obviously, I won’t be able to recognize all of them in the confines of this column, but I will write about some of them. Let’s start with the person who gave birth to this reporter, my mother Lorie. Scugog residents may have met my mother over the years. For many years, she has been working tirelessly as a nurse at Medical Associates of Port Perry. Because of how hard my mother works at her job, she was one of the people who has taught me the importance of hard work, and how far hard work will take you in life. She has also supported and encouraged both my sister and I to pursue our dream careers, and over the years has sacrificed her time and money to help us get there. Some of the things I can thank my mom for in helping me achieve my journalism dream include: picking me up late at college because I had a late game or event to cover; taking the time to drive me to an event off campus; or driving me and a couple of my journalism student friends to a location to do some extra video work for an assignment; helping me with financing for college, so I could take the courses and eventually graduate; and just listening to me talk when I had a hard or frustrating day. I already mentioned her in the above paragraph, so I guess I should write something about my sister Katrina. Over the years, my sister has been someone I’ve been able to hang out with, talk to and laugh with, and play games with. People who’ve read my column before may remember I’ve written in the past about how my sister is enrolled in Queen’s University. She has the ambitious dream of becoming a doctor one day, and I wish her success in that endeavour.