By Tanya Gazdik
I discovered JAWS at a turning point in my life. In the fall of 2013, my dying mother had just entered hospice. And I was quitting my daily newspaper job – a well-paying job that I liked — so I could spend more time with her.
It was a scary time to go back to freelancing. But I knew in my heart it was the right thing to do.
I attended Conference and Mentoring Project (CAMP) soon after, hoping to network and expand my freelance career. What surprised me was the heartfelt concern women — strangers — poured out about my mom and my own well-being. No one questioned or criticized my move. And I made freelance connections that are still valuable.
JAWS women gave me both the professional connections and the personal support I needed without knowing it.
At CAMP, I sat at the Sunday night dinner table for current and former AP reporters. Even though it had been many years since I worked at the wire service, everyone immediately welcomed me, including journalism legends Edie Lederer and Linda Deutsch – two women I now count among my mentors. At other meals and other CAMPS, I met Georgia Dawkins and Jane Isay and Sheila Solomon and countless other women who befriended and continue to inspire me.
I will forever be grateful for the support and fellowship I’ve received from these and so many other JAWS “sisters.” For me, JAWS really is a sisterhood. Friends are the family you choose.
Founding the JAWS Detroit chapter this year was one way I felt I could give back. So is giving what I can whenever a JAWS fundraising request hits my inbox. I hope you will, too. Soon, you’ll get a “Giving Tuesday” appeal from JAWS President Mira Lowe, another JAWS member whom I admire, especially after this year’s transformative CAMP.
You can even get started early by donating here.
Whatever you can give, even $10, means so much. It not only helps keep us going, but it tells foundations that our members believe in JAWS.
And JAWS needs your support right now, more than ever.
Thank you for being one of my JAWS sisters.
MediaPost, Automotive Editor