Rise of powerful women in the Community



Entrepreneur Delores Pressley and founder of She Elevates

There are many famous faces we know today such as Oprah, Michelle Obama, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and many more. But let’s not forget to celebrate the woman from our community. Entrepreneurs, mothers, and any impactful women from your life.

Women’s History month began in 1987. For the month of March some take the time to reflect on the past generation’s effort and perseverance to remember how they now have helped shape freedom and opportunities. 

Melissa Hackenberg is an entrepreneur and a real estate agent here in Canton. She has started her own company, Hackenberg Realty. 

“Everything I do is facing fear and running towards it,” Hackenberg said. “Sometimes you just have to believe in yourself and try it.”

Facing fears can be challenging when trying to start something new. As an entrepreneur there are many decisions you have to make to create a successful business.  

“I think this is the biggest difference between men and women. Men just go for it while women sit and wonder,” Hackenberg said.

Confidence can be a struggle to gain at times, situations can bring your confidence up or down. In the media women are constantly being judged. The clothes, face and body shape of women are held at a certain standard. 

“I feel like we have to undo this in our own minds and that is hard to do,” Hackenberg said.

Women’s Month is also important because it gives us an opportunity to learn about creating goals and confidence for ourselves.

Delores Pressley is an international Keynote speaker, life coach and author. Pressley has traveled all around the world speaking and teaching about women’s empowerment. Her main goal is to inspire females of all ages to become confident leaders. 

“I want to teach you how to be powerful,” Pressley said. “When I see the results of the people making changes in their lives, that makes me so happy.” 

Pressley loves seeing the power of women change and to see them become more confident in themselves. 

Pressley also takes her role of life coaching very seriously and believes in the idea that  everyone deserves a coach, sponsor, and mentor. A sponsor is someone who will speak up for you when you are not in the room and a mentor is someone you aspire to be. 

“A coach is someone who leads and guides you, but does not really do the work for you at all,” Pressley said. 

Pressley also started a non profit organization called She Elevates for ages 8 to 14. They focus on the acronym “BOSS” which stands for bringing others success and significance. 

“We always hope to go into elementary schools and middle schools to empower girls,” Pressley said.

Pressley gave some advice and tips on how to help with confidence and it’s called believing in the power of the jar.

Pressley believes that there is no age limit to accomplishing any dreams or goals. 

“Write down your accomplishments, and on the days you don’t feel as confident still always write something down to see your worth,” Pressley said. “Don’t let fear overtake you.”   Mary Beddellis the director of public relations for Plain Local schools. She also has run a nonprofit organization for about 10 years in honor of her mom who had breast cancer. 

“We raise money for women who are going through breast cancer treatment, we help them pay  their bills, and we have given out about over $750,000,” Beddell said. 

Influential women have a strong impact on young girls, that is why Beddell believes it is important to teach and learn about the journey women have gone through in past generations. 

“I think it is really important because we can’t do anything without realizing the sacrifices others have made,” Beddell said. 

Living in today’s society changes are becoming visible. A woman can go to college, have a high power job, and are not expected to find and survive off of a husband. 

“If women don’t stand up and think of where they have come from, it is really easy to slip back,” Beddell said. “You can never forget the privileges that we now have.” 

Some changes may not be big but the little changes in society still matter. For example a woman has a place at the table to make decisions and voice her opinions rather than being used for getting coffee or taking notes. 

“It’s amazing to be alive during this time. Just in the last 20 years there have been drastic changes,” Beddell said.

The community has many examples of women in high profile jobs.This helps girls and women know that they too have a chance. 

“That representation is so important because you don’t really know what your options are, you only know what’s in front of you,” Beddell said. 

Plain Local elementary schools have a program called Fierce Females. It is a way to involve and teach young girls to be confident in themselves. 

“Sometimes examples of women aren’t bad but limiting, so when we tell girls to dream big they have to see these examples,” Beddell said.

Women have gone through an incredible journey through the years. It is important that we remind ourselves and celebrate these accomplishments. March may be “Woman’s Month”, but this does not mean to forget and move on. Confidence and strength in women should always be used.

Sometimes you just have to believe in yourself and try it.

— Melissa Hackenberg