HOPE is what fills life with promise and light. It fills our souls on days that feel dark, knowing that brighter ones are just around the corner. Much of this HOPE we carry as women comes from being part of a community that is larger than us. Here, at Maja Arnold, we represent a community of inspiring women.
Women like Shellie Willis, a veteran and advocate to military communities across the country. Shellie's heart shines through in all she does, as she provides HOPE to our female veterans, as she shifts the needle in their lives by providing them with life-changing skills and resources.
After 24 years of service in the US Army, Shellie retired a Master Sergeant and shares that starting a new career as a civilian was absolutely daunting for her. She believes that very few veterans have HOPE during their transition out of the military and land their "dream career," start a business, or even decide to continue their education immediately afterwards.
Over the last six and half years of working in workforce development with a focus on veteran’s initiatives, she has found that most really don’t have a clue without being given a strong sense of direction and purpose as to what that next move should be. Shellie also discovered that service women didn’t realize they were a highly underrepresented demographic within a demographic.
As women, she says they identified with where they served, whether it be as a Soldier, Sailor, Airmen, Marine or Coast Guardsmen, and that their voices and identities were aborted by those roles. She realized immediately after retirement that women spend much of their time serving and suppressing at the same time.
So, Shellie decided to create a movement and community of HOPE that continues to educate and empower our service women to and through transition, for however long it takes by building a community of connectors in life coaching, lifestyle, branding, health and wellness, financial readiness and more. Service women need to be reminded they are women and that they are amazing, she says. Long after their military service they can define themselves and be empowered to shift into their next phase of life.
Redefining You Foundation is a community for transitioning service women, women veterans, and military spouses providing them HOPE through access to local, regional and national resources. Being redefined means shifting your thinking and lifestyle to the next phase in life by creating a blueprint that requires activation and accountability, says Shellie.
For the work Shellie has done to support our women veterans she received the Female Founder Alliance Champion Award in 2019 and currently serves as the Ms. Veteran America 2020 2nd Runner Up.
To learn more about Redefining You Foundation click HERE.
We at Maja Arnold would like to wish a very Happy Memorial Day to our service members, veterans, and their families. To those whose loved one gave the ultimate sacrifice, they will never be forgotten. And to Shellie, thank you for brightening the way by filling our female veterans with HOPE.
Photo credits: Abby Laguido, founder of Pixel Parlour