Updated: Apr 25, 2019
"Be the best and help the rest."
At Beyond Barriers, there were many inspiring women. Hearing their stories was interesting and encouraging. Among these women, one stood out to me: Jane Castor. Listening to her felt more like hearing a friend speak than hearing a panelist answer questions. She carried herself in a way that seemed genuine and friendly making her story stick with me even more. Even in that brief time, she made an impact on me, one that I’m sure many others felt as well.
Castor described being in junior high when Title IX passed and how sports taught her life lessons that she still implements today. Among these was a commitment to work hard, as well as how to win and lose gracefully. Castor also spoke about rising to become police chief despite being told no and overlooked. She exemplified how her commitment paid off which made her story even more impactful.
What I think resonates most about Castor’s story are the similarities to one I know well. My grandmother was once the mayor of Tampa, and she often tells me of how she was treated differently because of her gender. She also played sports growing up and Castor’s story showed me the extent of how important sports are to one’s life. She said that sports opened the door for everything she’d achieved in life. So, regardless of your career path or what anyone says you can or can’t do – sports can have an impact. Running for mayor only solidified that point: that the lessons we learn in sports have an impact on our lives.
I truly believe that Castor is making an impact and breaking barriers. Having her as a mayor would be an inspiration to little girls all over the city, especially those lucky enough to learn how she got there.
A quote of Castor’s that stood out to me was a piece of advice that she offered: “Be the best and help the rest.” I liked this quote because it was a perfect summary of what she is all about. In her career, she’s conquered obstacles and rose beyond expectations. After that, she’s used her name and position to move forward and play a bigger role, helping others along the way and making a difference.