There’s no question that mothers play a powerful role in the lives of their children. This Mother’s Day we asked some of our Regional Ambassadors to join us in celebrating.

Their reflections on both traditional and non-traditional motherhood are nothing short of inspiring and a true testament to the women helping shape our generation of girls' education advocates.

Trina Pullum, one of our inspirations and Board of Directors' Chair at the Center of Empowerment for Families & Youth, Inc.

“My mother, grandmother, and great grandmother all recognized and knew the value of an education. They highlighted and instilled those values into me. Even in the face of difficulties and adversities, I still pushed myself toward my education goals. The opportunities available to girls today were not there for my mother figures. They grew up in a time when the primary career choices open to them were cook and cashiers without an education; or nurse or teacher with one. We have to show girls today that their potential is limitless! They have the chance to do anything, be anything they desire, and they have to take full advantage of it. Children growing up model themselves around what they see. Investing in mothers is an investment in families, as those girls will pattern themselves based on what they see their mothers become.” - Trina

Nikki and Mini Jande - Girl Rising Ambassadors in California, education advocates and rockstar mother-daugther duo

“My mother inspires me to be an advocate for girls' education because equality and a path for greater education immensely improves the lives of poverty-stricken women and their families.” - Nikki Jande

“Growing up in India, I saw my mother teach disadvantaged women and their daughters to simply write their names. I understand the power these simple actions can have towards empowering women and contributing to their self confidence.” - Mini Jande

Olivia is a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco, picture here with her host mothers, Khadija.

“Khadija, my host mother in Morocco, unwillingly stopped going to school before reaching high school. When talking about her experience, she says she cried and cried, considering how much she loved learning. She is a firm believer that the root of almost all problems that exist in the world are the result of a lack of quality education. As I mother she knows, the more mothers are educated, the more their kids will be. Over 20 years later, Khadija finds ways to continue learning and is a quick witted, compassionate, Mrs. Fix It. She started her own business last year and because of her willingness to learn as well as teach, Khadija’s Kuzina, where she hosts Moroccan cooking class lessons for tourists and healthy cooking demonstrations for local women, continues to grow and expand. Happy Mother’s Day to her, my own mom and all mothers who value education.” - Olivia

Our Ambassador Roopa sees both her mother (bottom left) and grandmother (top) as enormous influences in her life.

“The phrase ‘like father like son’ is used commonly in daily life, but I believe the equally important phrase is "like mother like daughter.” It is important that we invest in our Mothers in order to invest in the future generation of girls. Mothers also have a big influence on their sons, and can teach them the importance of respecting women and the potential each girl has to excel in the world.

Both my mother and my grandmother have been the driving force for all I have achieved. They taught me the importance of helping others and making a difference in the world. My grandma was a very progressive lady who encouraged all her children - sons and daughters both - to pursue an education. She was a voracious reader. These same values passed onto my mother who made sure my sister and I also got an education. Mom taught me that if you want to achieve something, you can do it. Mom made sacrifices so my sister and I would lead a better life and could access opportunities beyond what she had available to her. Mom taught me to believe in myself.

I never thought of women as being weaker or incapable of achieving their dreams, as I saw the type of woman my Mom is. I always felt that women are very capable! Her values made me wish to be an advocate for girls’ education.“ - Roopa

Our Ambassador Davinia never ceases to inspire us. She lives each day to honor those around her and create a better world for girls.

"I wouldn’t have become the woman I am today without my heavenly (biological) and earthly mom. My heavenly mom was a teenage mom and had a partial high school education. She experienced the difficulties of her situation and often wished some things were different. She knew one way to end this cycle in our family was through me. She knew education offered freedom. My heavenly mom by any means necessary made my education possible. Not even chemotherapy could stop her. I became the first one out of my family to graduate high school. Another dream of hers was for me to attend college. She saw the beginning of that journey but unfortunately wasn’t there to see it to the end. My heavenly mom died my first year of college. When I thought all was lost, her best friend (my earthly mom) stepped up. She has been my biggest support system in all that I do, including my dream of changing the world. Despite a few life challenges, I became a college graduate. I was the first one out of my family to graduate college as well.

Based on my mom’s life’s story, my life story, the heart of my earthly mom and the true reality of they world, everything has some how worked in a greater good. I strongly believe all these factors have indirectly guided me to my passion of wanting to change the world. I chose to advocate on behalf of the 62 million of girls not in schools because they are me. I am them. All they want is to be able to be a child and the chance to become their greatest self. In doing so, it’s going to take someone to believe in their dreams and them.

This is what both my moms did for me and why advocating for girls' education is at the forefront in all that I do. With out an education, girls are trapped in their own mind and life. That’s no way for anyone to live. I refuse to sit aside and accept that. If I have to build these schools myself, that’s exactly what I’m going to do. - Davinia”

Some of these entries have been edited for length and clarity, but that shouldn’t reduce their impact. Be sure to check out our Instagram account for more stories and inspiration.