By: Nina P.
Beneath the surface of my hero, Sally Pofcher.
Hero Definition Essay
Digging Down to the Core of Success
Why Sally Pofcher is my Hero
A hero isn't someone who wears a cape, flies over buildings, and saves the world with his or her powers, is it? Yes-in a more "common" sense. Heroes are brave, courageous, and shine out from others. They don't wear their cape on the outside, but rather on the inside where they still carry those same traits as a superhero. They impact people's lives in positive ways, whether it requires saving thousands, or just impacting a single person's. A hero is a role model, speaking out with their great achievements and accomplished goals. A hero may not have special powers, but they have the power and the capability to make people's perception on life better. Lastly, a hero is someone who you can connect to, in the sense you are trying to achieve the same goals, or have similar "stories." Heroes are more than just the typical saviors in comic books. Heroes impact, save, and brighten up lives. My mom, Sally Pofcher, is a hero because she inspires me, has great achievements that I admire, and always strives for her personal best in her job while still putting her family first.
My mom, Sally Pofcher, has many great achievements that I admire. While attending Kellogg graduate school, she was voted most likely to become a CEO. "I had no idea my classmates had nominated me. It wasn't ever an explicit goal of mine," my mother claimed in our interview. Surprisingly, after working at Gap in the apparel department, and then processing to McKinsey & Company where she teamed with Levi's to help businesses grow, my mom did become a CEO. She became the CEO for Paper Source, which at the time was a small business that she loved. "I really appreciated the company and the design. The founder came to our house and could tell I had an affinity for patterns and colors," my mother explained. As of now, I have a great interest in creative hobbies and designs, which are all included in my mother's job. I admire what she has achieved because of the connection applied to me. In the eight years my mom worked for Paper Source, she expanded the number of stores from twenty, to one hundred and three. “We went from being a very small company that made no money, to being a very healthy, profitable company. We also went from designing about 100 products a year, to over 2,000,” my mom stated with pride. As it is clear, my mother is a hard working woman who persevered through her career to get great outcomes with Paper Source. She achieved her goals, and I admire her for both her success and her independence to reach the top.
Second, my mom inspires me. Since my mom was the CEO of Paper Source, she joined YPO, an organization for people under 50, who are the president of a company. I recall my mom telling me that at a meeting they had, she, and the other people, were asked when they had felt most powerless. Most said, “When I broke my arm,” or “When my mother was sick.” However, an important message I took away from my mom's explanation was when she described she has never felt powerless. “I think that is independent of my experience at Paper Source,” my mother claims. “I think it comes from maybe feeling that there is always something that could be done, and having sort of fought for and accomplished the things on my own. Whether that was going to college when I didn't really have that much money, or being one of the only women in banking when I worked alone in Latin America.” My mother's work ethic is unparalleled. Whether she decides to put together a book of our plans for a vacation, or finishes the layout of the Paper Source catalog, she always strives to get work done and do it the best she is capable of. As a child, she didn't have much money. One of the reasons she inspires me is that although she has found a solid, successful job, she doesn’t take advantage of the money. She uses her past experiences in life to remind our family of how lucky we are to have all the necessities we are able to obtain. Now that my mom has retired from her job, she spends time at home, and also contributes to the boards of different companies like pet stores, Claire's, and businesses she feels she can improve. As my mom told me, “I have to say it's an adjustment. It’s different to be on the board where you give a little bit of advice, versus when you're the CEO and you're in charge and are pushing things forward.” Even though my mother is not the CEO anymore, she still has the personality of a dedicated business woman, and it inspires me the way she seeks out challenges, and finds new interests as her career progresses. My mother is an amazing woman, full of intelligence and a wonderful personality. I hope one day to be just like the CEO, creative, hard working woman she is. It has inspired me deeply the way she proceeds through life as a compassionate, and thankful woman, and stays involved with Paper Source.
Lastly, my mom strives for her personal best in her job while still putting her family first. As the daughter of a working mom, it normally isn’t till around six pm that my mother comes home. Her days consist of hard work and dedication to her company, yet whenever she gets home, she comes to me with a kiss, says she’s missed me, and asks me about my day. My mother always strives for a tight-knit family. She constantly updates us on how to be nicer, and words we should have said to make the conversations flow better. It is clear each and every one of my siblings are loved by my mother, as she never fails to show it by hanging out with us and filling us with love. My mom directly states her dedication to our family by explaining, “I’m not going to be the CEO of another company anywhere except Chicago, and there is not another company I am excited about because we are not going to move until you graduate from high school. That means I only want to be the CEO of a company I really think is awesome. I don't want to be a CEO just to have the job.” My mother has received multiple offers to be the CEO of companies such as Serena and Lily, Sprinkles Cupcakes, and Dutch. Though my mom could most definitely accept those offers and excel at the company, she always puts her children first and only accepts what would benefit us the most. “First of all, there's nothing more important than my kids,” my mother states while explaining why she didn't want to join another company as their CEO. “I don’t care about any of these jobs...even a smidge as much as I care about you guys,” she claims. My mother has achieved so much at her job, and strived for her best, but she’s willing to give up any job for her family. That is what I call a hero. However, one of the biggest reasons my mom is my hero is because she puts her family first, letting us be whoever we are and achieve what we think is interesting to our personality. When I questioned my mom on her advice to me as I go through life, she responded, “My most important advice is to do things you love, and that connect to your talents. The more you do them, the more you get to do the next most interesting job. Do what you love, and do it really well. Don't ever get a job that doesn't interest you because then you are trapped with something that doesn't inspire you and play on your talents.” I always question my mom on what she thinks my perfect job would be in the future. Given that I have a creative side, my mother has responded with such things as, “Maybe you will design energy-efficient homes in the rainforest” or something that involves 3D printing and graphic design. However, my mom always follows her answer with, “Who knows, there's so many creative and interesting jobs out there, whatever you would like to have as a job is perfect for me.” As it is obvious, my mother is a successful woman, who loves nothing more than her tight-knit, unique family. My mother accepts us for who we are, and is willing to sacrifice jobs just to have a progressing family. My mother strives for her best at work by putting together a functioning company, and continuing to expand the business. Though her talents have been noticed by the multiple job offers she’s received, she always puts her family first by turning down the offers to stay at home and build on our family.
So maybe heroes do wear capes. We are just blindsided by their bold personality and unique traits. Yet, heroes are more than just someone who wears a cape, flies over buildings, and saves the world with his or her powers. Heroes are people like my mom: powerful, creative, successful, and someone I can always look up to. As my mom would say, “The next chapter is just beginning.” Who knows what that new chapter will hold. It's safe to say, however, that my mother will still be my hero no matter how many times we turn the pages.
A drawing of my mom in the MakeitBetter magazine
A few years ago, my mother was published in the MakeitBetter magazine for her authentic and creative style that she contributes to PaperSource. This was the drawing of her that went along with the article.
A quote from my mom
This is a quote my mother wrote. I really agree with this quote because it really describes my mom, and is a powerful message. My mom has always told me to be myself, and to do things I love. She inspires me with her work and creativity and it has helped me to express my more creative side when it comes to everyday tasks.
My mother in her office
This is a picture of my mother in her PaperSource office, and all the creations PaperSource came up with. This picture was from a while ago, but it helps to show what my mom's job was like and how she's very crafty and creative.
A drawing of my mom in the MakeitBetter magazine
A quote from my mom
Ninas Fashion Line!
For my writing passion project, I decided to create a fashion line. As a girl who has always been creative, colorful, and loves to make things, sewing has recently become a huge passion of mine. I love fashion and this project was my favorite project of the year because I could really express myself while connecting my creations to my hero.
Information on my fashion line
I decided to research Project Runway to learn more about sewing in the real world. I was really interested to learn about the unconventional challenges and how kids my age are creating abstract designs.
In the Process....
Before I made the final Touches and changes the looks of many outfits.
Ninas Fashion Line!
Information on my fashion line
How does my project connect to my hero...?
I am a very creative, artsy, fashionista, type of girl. I love art and one of my biggest passions is fashion. I love to sew, and I love to put together outfits of existing clothing. Recently I have been taking classes on sewing, and now that I have gotten into it, I decided to create my own fashion line for American Girl Dolls. Now obviously, I don't have all the fabric in the world to completely represent myself, but I think this line shows who I am through the creativity. It's also connected to my mom who is my hero. In my hero interview with my mother, she claimed she had an affinity for patterns and colors. This fashion line is all fabrics with patters, and vivid colors. My mother was the CEO for PaperSource, a craft/retail business, so this line also executes her creativity. Overall, this was my favorite project all year. It was fun to create something I love, and as I get better at sewing, I hope to create a line that truly represents my style.
“Craziest Challenges.” Craziest Challenges. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Jan. 2008. <http://www.bravotv.com/project-runway/photos/craziest-challenges>.
“Project Runway Junior.” Project runway junior. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Mar. 2016. <http://www.mylifetime.com/shows/project-runway-junior/about>.
“Project runway winners: where are they now?” Project runway winners: where are they now? N.p., n.d. Web. 17 July 2013. <http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/gallery/project-runway-winners-are-they-578674/14-dom-streater>.“You know you love fashion.” You know you love fashion. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Aug. 2012. <http://www.youknowyoulovefashion.com/projectrunway/2012/8/20/project-runway-bestworst-challenges-ever-and-its-my-way-on-t.html>.