I am honored to be asked to participate and to let you know who I am, what I have overcome and any "wisdom" I have to share. My name is Christine Orsak.
When I was eleven years old and was visiting with my favorite aunt, she asked me who I was. What? She knew perfectly well I was her niece, Christine. I am now 68 years old and think I know the answer to that question but it took a long and winding road to get here.
Early in my life my father who was an immigrant child from Hungary, began to fill me with the knowledge that only through education can one be sure of a happy life. He told me that if I learned what would make me happy through school. I would never hate one day of going to work. I was sure I would marry Prince Charming, have a cute house and several darling children and never have to work a day in my life, so I didn't listen as carefully as I should.
In my Senior year of high school. I met the boy I knew I wanted to marry but he was attending a military academy and couldn't get married until he graduated. My father told me not to get married until I graduated but I crammed three years of college into two and got married when I was 19. My husband went to graduate school and I worked at a pretty good job, but not one that made me love going to work.
After six years of marriage and moving a lot with the military, we adopted a beautiful baby boy and life was good. Six months after our son was born, my husband was killed in an aircraft accident. There I was, my father's prediction coming true with a son to support and no college degree. I was scared and knew I had to make the effort to finish school.
A year later, I met a wonderful man who was also in the Air Force. We married and adopted another little boy. I was a mom during the day and a full-time student at night. I finally finished my degree and my teaching credentials and when my boys were in school, I began the career which was to span 32 years. I loved teaching and loved going to work every day.
After 22 years of marriage and the boys going off to college my husband was diagnosed with cancer and I knew that I would be in a better position to raise my level of responsibility in my career by getting a graduate degree. So many times in that two years I wanted to quit, but my husband wouldn't let me because he knew it would be important later. I taught school all day then drove two hours to school had 4 hours of classes and drove two hours back home.
He passed away in 1999, the year I got my Master's Degree. I knew how proud he was of my accomplishment. I went on to become a school administrator until I retired in 2011.
I now know who I am. I am an avid outdoors woman, a humanitarian, an educator, and a very proud family member. My advice to each and every one of you is to stay in school. Do not rely on others for your future. Make yourself ready to accomplish more than you ever thought possible. Above all, love and thank our Lord each and every day for those around you who care, and there is always someone who cares. Thank you, Shekina, for asking me to do this for your young ladies!
ABOUT Letters to our Daughters
Letters to Our Daughters is a B2F Girls! campaign that aspires to empower girls with the courage to overcome obstacles and follow their dreams as they learn from women who have ovecome many challenges and have positioned themselves to live a fierce life. We hope that the stories will be healing and empowering for both the writer and the reader.
ABOUT B2F Girls!
B2F Girls! is on a mission to equip girls nationally with healthy self-esteem so that they can be the best version of themselves. When this happens, everyone benefits. B2F Girls! offers a robust certification program and training intensive, complete with resources, implementation guides and support for women who have a calling to mentor girls. We also produce national female empowerment events.
B2F Girls! initially started as an organization called Tween Style Power that offered free local workshops for girls ages 10-17 that addressed the areas of self-worth, body image and leadership. After our first successful year of implementation, we began to notice we were receiving an influx of women from various parts of the country asking how they could implement a similar program for the girls in their communities. It was then that we recognized a gap that required a systematic and accessible way of providing the training we were already offering. This made way for the launch of B2F Girls!