I’m sad to announce something wonderful to you all. It’s a new annual full-ride scholarship for the #GirlsClub leadership certification program in honor of my late friend and #GirlsClub Thought Leader, Lynn Parker.
Lynn and I met in the winter of 2006 in a slightly too-warm lobby in a Prague hotel. Having been assigned to the same work project for the next six months, we met again in Singapore, and then Barcelona, and soon every other corner of the globe as she clicked into place as my person.
She was a strong role model – showing me it was OK to be self-employed without the pressure of being a business mogul. She was incredibly bright and sharp but with no actual sharp edges. In fact, she sighed as I coined her my “poster child for inner loveliness”, as she occasionally worried about falling off such a high pedestal.
Lynn saw me through my post-divorce wild times (I’m sorry about that time in Greece), as well as my struggles with family, with self-esteem, with the new in-laws (again, thanks for your help in Mexico). She performed my wedding ceremony in 2010, and in 2019 as I recovered from surgery, she climbed into bed beside me and was the first to encourage my crazy new venture about self-confidence and empowerment. She spoke at the Generation 1 RiseUp Finale event and was a featured Thought Leader in several recordings you may still find in our platform.
In recent years, we had a tradition of meeting in a new country and doing our year in review + coming-year intentions (goals were a bit too focused for us). In 2019, it was Nicaragua. We found a health resort where yoga was optional, massages were cheap, and the beer was cold. It turned out to be our last trip together as half-way through COVID lockdown, she mentioned back pain that was found later to be pancreatic cancer. Lynn passed away on October 2, 2021.
The hole Lynn left in the universe, in my universe, is enormous. She was shockingly special. Yes, in a way that was larger than life, but also very warmly human. She didn’t hide how she loved to work on herself, her fears, her faults nor her personal dreams and celebrity crushes (Daniel Craig). Moreover, she helped all of us know and celebrate our own quirks in her same safe, loving, and often funny way.
With Lynn it was always OK to make mistakes, to be messy, to laugh, to cry, to drink before noon, and spend entire days on the couch watching TV. She was utterly comfortable with herself and didn’t falter in her lack of judgement and unconditional acceptance of her people. I was so very, very lucky.
In addition to being a best friend, Lynn was a sister and an aunt. Her 2 incredible nieces have agreed to join me in keeping her spirit alive through the awarding of an annual winner of the Lynn Parker Scholarship.
Yes, these are big shoes to fill, but they are warm, comfortable, magic shoes and I strongly encourage you to apply. It will be such a pleasure for Oleta, Mia and me to get to know you.