Woman of the Month Features Trish Luna

I would like to honor this amazing woman for all that she is and all that she does.

Trish Luna is clearly an outstanding volunteer, mentor, and advisor, but I believe she should be viewed foremost as an outstanding Girl Scout leader who embodies their mission.

She is and has been a troop leader for the Girl Scouts since 2001, as well as a facilitating trainer for both leaders and girls within the organization itself.  She has been among the most visible promoters of girls’ leadership skills, using her passion and dedication to help build girls with Courage, Confidence and Character.  She has served as an extraordinary role model.

Trish has generously given her time to – direct day camp, just as her grandmother did for scouts; work with the older girls, run area wide events, and has been an inspiration to new troop leaders as they begin their roles in the scouting world.  Her work with scouts across the area stimulates the programs available and improves girl engagement; bringing girls together as one and helping them do things they have never tried before.

Building and exploring the skills and knowledge of the older girls she stretches with new experiences and roles, working together to put on events and demonstrating activities for the younger girls.  Doing this, the older girls have learned many life skills and empowerment tools, becoming better examples to younger girls.

The girls learn the qualities of an effective leader, and asses their own strengths and weaknesses as a leader.  They learn to develop effective communication skills and healthy decision-making skills as well as stress & time management skills.  These skills are put into action as they plan, prepare and present their program activity and events, boosting their self-confidence, and empowering them as effective leaders in their sports, among their peers, and elsewhere outside their scouting world.  These opportunities help the girls develop a strong sense of self, develop positive values, and gain practical life skills such as critical thinking and promoting cooperation and team building.

Providing girls with the foundation to feel empowered at a young age, they will have an enriched ability to develop into healthy, successful women who can reach their fullest potential.

Possessing the knowledge, skills, and confidence, has inspired hope in many, helped girls to stand up for themselves, make positive choices, and be in control of their future.

We want to thank Trish for offering girls the tools they need to be successful leaders now and throughout their lives.

 

 

Woman of the Month Features Corin Rose Burke

WOMAN OF THE MONTH FEATURES CORIN ROSE BURKE

She Rises From The Ashes, A Mother’s Point of View

I am writing this to honor my daughter, Corin who was in the Las Vegas shooting and survived. As a mother I will never know what she experienced, what she felt, or continues to feel. I see the signs of her pain, her anxiety, and her fear. I would like to share this very deep story with you. I share this now, one year later because it’s time for me, mama bear, to heal too.

It was midnight on October 1, 2017 when I awoke from sleep in my daughter Corin’s bed.  She was in Las Vegas at a country music concert that weekend. I don’t know why I woke up but I looked at my phone; it was midnight. I had missed several calls for two hours from a number I didn’t recognize. There were missed calls from my sister in-law. My heart sank as I knew something happened. I ran up stairs to tell my husband to call his sister.

She immediately told us that Corin was okay but there had been a shooting at the concert.  It wasn’t until some time had passed that we understood that it had been a mass shooting and even later that we learned the extent of the event.  I panicked. We called her. She was at the hospital with her friend who had been shot in the back. I immediately wanted to fly to Las Vegas to be with her. I wanted to hold her.  I couldn’t. There were no flights going into Las Vegas. I thought of driving down, but it would have been a 10-hour drive and she had a flight that morning.

I called my son who lives in Southern California and asked him to drive to Las Vegas to be with his sister. He had already left and was on his way. I don’t know what I would have done had he not been there with his sister.

As a mother, feeling hopeless because I couldn’t be there with my daughter, feeling guilty because I didn’t answer the phone at 10:01 pm when the shooting happened. I remember looking at the news and couldn’t believe what I saw and what I heard. All of those innocent people who were killed, wounded physically, wounded emotionally. Our daughter and her two friends were among the fortunate ones who lived.

We picked up our daughter at the airport, she was in shock, tears rolling down her face, covered in blood, and full of FEAR. Her dad and I held her in the bosom of our arms.

On the drive back home, she told us what she saw and heard,  the details of what she had witnessed. My heart ached for her.

When the shooting started, the girls didn’t know what was going on;  they thought it was fireworks. Jason Aldean, the country singer was performing at the time and he stopped playing and ran off the stage. It was at that point that the girls knew something was going on. People started running, screaming, trying to hide.

On the ground, Corin and her friend looked into each other’s eyes. Scared, they didn’t know if they were going to get out of there alive.

At some point, Corin’s friend fell to the ground, she had been shot in the back. Corin and a man next to them, picked up her friend and ran to get help.  Open field, no shelter to hide, thousands of people, screaming and running for their lives, bullets whizzing by. People being shot, people dying.

The man immediately took her friend to where an ambulance was. She got immediate attention as she was turning blue. My daughter was hiding under the ambulance, still listening to gun shots being fired. She said the ten minutes seemed like eternity.

The man who took my daughter’s friend to the ambulance was  truly a guardian angel. If it wasn’t for  him, we may have lost Corin’s friend.

This was a senseless act of killing innocent people. We will never know what made him do such a malevolent act. This man will not feel the pain he caused thousands of people and their families. This man will not feel the suffering people continue to feel. The PTSD they have. This man will not know the people he killed and their families who no longer have their family member. All of these people whose lives will never be the same.

It’s my wish for each person who was at the concert and their families to heal. Each day they take a little bit of their power back. Each day a little bit lighter. Each day more hope.

A few weeks ago, I got triggered. It’s been intense. The thought of my daughter returning to Las Vegas, attending the memorial caused me anxiety and great sadness that my daughter had to go through mass shooting and return to the place where it all happened.

Six days after the shooting,  October 8th, the fires happened. We were evacuated for a week. When I look back at that time and the rest of the year, I was numb. I felt that I needed to be strong for my daughter. I didn’t want to feel all that I felt.  I do today. I am in the process of healing.

Corin tells me over and over, “I will never be the same”. Will she? No.  What I do know is that she will heal, she will be more empowered, she will RISE everyday.

To rise from the ashes in mythology, a phoenix is an immortal bird that, when it dies, bursts into flames and is reborn from its own ashes. This is what I have witnessed watching my daughter rise in the last year. Corin is the phoenix.

Since then my daughter quit her job as an accountant to seek a new career, of course still in the wine industry. She takes baby steps to move forward. Some days it’s easier than others. She can now listen to country music. She put on her cowgirl boots (she was wearing them in Las Vegas) and went to her first country outdoor concert. She was anxious but went. 

Corin is in Las Vegas with her friend, back to the place where her life changed. I am in awe of my daughter. This is a COURAGEOUS act. She is facing her fears, facing the place where her life changed. She is facing the images that may not ever go away. She is going to heal with thousands of people who were there and their families who lost a loved one. She is sad. She is anxious. She is in fear. She is strong. She is courageous. This is one EMPOWERED WOMAN! I want to honor her today!

Tonight, October 1stat  10:01 pm, I will light candles and pray for thousands of people. I will honor the 58 people who died and their families who are speaking today at the memorial. Today I am so grateful that my daughter and her friends are alive. Today I am grateful that I am allowing myself to feel all that I didn’t a year ago. Today we both can begin the healing process.

It’s October 4, 2018 and my daughter came back lighter. She felt the love and support from the community in Las Vegas. She heard stories from people who were there. This gave her comfort knowing that she is not alone.  She did some healing with thousands of people. She created new memories. SHE RISES FROM THE ASHES!

Written by Natasha Burke