Women's Showcase

Empowering Women of Color to Break Through & Create Success, Confidence & Financial Prosperity

Article by: Phyliss Francis
Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t—you’re right.” We often understate the impact our mindset has on the way things will play out, professionally or personally. All actions start with thoughts, and thoughts will eventually become actions. So when you implement strategies that take into account both thoughts and actions, miracles can happen.
When I coach my clients, I don’t just teach them about business. I show them how to up-level their mindset and take inspired action steps. I guide them through the process of cleaning up their thoughts and raising their energetic vibration. I lay out the appropriate action steps they need to take. I make sure their actions, thoughts, and goals are all in alignment. This is how you create success and prosperity beyond where you currently are.
For the most part, when businesses are struggling, it isn’t that they’re lacking the perfect marketing strategy. That has its place, sure, but it’s most likely that their goals aren’t aligning with how they’re feeling or what they’re doing. This can manifest itself in many ways: inconsistent branding, wishy-washy sales tactics, scattered web presence. What the business owner is lacking is a toolkit chock full of exercises and techniques to keep their goals, work, and beliefs in line with each other.
If this sounds like you—if you’re struggling to advance in your business because of your negative feelings, because you aren’t doing the things you need to go, because your goals aren’t in line with the trajectory you’re on—I have two simple pieces of advice.
Change your habits. Partake in daily activities that nurture your mind, body, and soul. Do you eat healthy food, drink enough water, exercise every week? Are you spending quality time with your friends or family, laughing, or taking time for rest and relaxation? Take time to do something that you enjoy today. You’ll feel invigorated, refreshed, and ready to take on the universe.
Change your attitude. The entire world shifts around you when you look at it differently. If you stop thinking life is happening to you, you will start to see how it is happening for you. As Mike Dooly said, “if the universe was out to get you, it would have gotten you by now.”
 
 

MEET THE AUTHOR:

Phyliss Francis, MA CLC PCC

When I was not yet 10 years old, my father decided to have a very special heart-to-heart with his daughters.

He said, “You girls have to be the best at everything you do to succeed in this world because you have two strikes against you: you are Black and you are women.”

In that moment, I bought into this belief: In order for me to transcend my race and gender “strikes,” I need to excel in everything if I want to be on an equal playing field with the general population.


I was compelled to prove that I was “good enough” to assimilate into the mainstream.

However, this insatiable quest to belong made it difficult for me to recognize my natural gifts and talents because I was too busy trying to fit in and excel. So, I tried to fit in socially and professionally everywhere, by being perfect so that everyone would know my true value surpassed being the token black woman who was only chosen to fulfill a diversity quota. Consequently, after playing Division I sports in college, earning two degrees, acquiring multiple certifications, promotions and awards, I became exhausted and unsatisfied because my insatiable appetite to achieve was fueled by underlying feelings of unworthiness and dissatisfaction.

I knew something had to change.

I started my coaching and consulting business after spending years in Corporate America and the nonprofit sector, as a coach, instructor and mental health professional. Now, I was ready to control my professional and financial destiny, express my creativity, and step into my leadership role. I was ready to make money and add three more hours to my day, so I could travel and do more of what I love.

So, I became an entrepreneur on a quest for success and fulfillment.

This meant I worked with dozens of business coaches, consultants, and spiritual leaders, and spent thousands of dollars in certifications, trainings, seminars, workshops and classes. I read hundreds of books, watched videos and listened to hours of motivational audios. Not only did I feel the need to learn every aspect of entrepreneurship, I knew I had to “skill up” to grow a successful 6-figure business.

However, while I was creating a successful business and achieving wealth, I discovered that something deeper and more profound was at play in this life. Yes, we can make more money and change our environments, but real transformation happens from the inside out. 

Fortunately, I discovered the power of Spiritual Principles and Universal Law and explored how consciousness can transcend race and class.

After a failed engagement, I moved to Honolulu. I changed my mindset to focus from what is wrong to what is working, and continued expanding my coaching toolbox, and natural gifts and talents. Suddenly, I felt my perception shift from self-judgment to self-acknowledgement and realized that life is not happening “to me”, it is happening “for me”. In Hawaii, I met my husband, Joseph, my step-daughter, Yasmin, and had my beautiful daughter, Autumn. Currently, my family and I live in Los Angeles.

Now I effortlessly express my Authentic Self in everything I do.

I continue to attract diverse professional and personal projects that utilize my natural gifts and talents. Today, I am experiencing more joy and fulfillment than ever before. My hope is that by working with me, you will be able to experience more success, freedom and joy in your life too!

Women's Showcase

A Woman’s Story of Sexual Assault and Immense, Emotional Healing Through the Grace of God

Article by Joanna Buoniconti, Staff writer

Author’s note: This article contains sensitive material pertaining to sexual assault.
In order to protect the individual’s identity, whose story of forgiveness and healing
is given below, will be referenced to under a different name.

Sexual assault is an experience that steals the innocence of so many and slowly
but surely we are witnessing individuals step into the spotlight with the stories
that have burdened them for so long. As a young child, Sarah was sexually
assaulted by a family member. As most victims do, she carried the anger that this
experience imposed upon her around with her for over 20 years, much to her
detriment. The emotional burden eventually became too much for her for her to
handle, and took a physical form of the illness, shingles. Through being diagnosed
with this illness, Sarah felt as though God was showing her the light and telling
her that it was time for her to face the demons of her past and let them go.
While this experience has played a large role in shaping the woman that she has
become, it does not define who she is. Sarah exhibits a sense of empowerment,
due to making a successful life for herself in spite of the inner turmoil brewing
inside of her for so long. She has a degree in paralegal studies and is currently
pursuing a second degree in government and political science from Liberty
University.
It remains no secret that for a very long time it was normal for sexual assault and
abuse cases to be swept under the rug. And, unfortunately, Sarah’s story was one
of those. Because it was perpetrated by a family member only made the situation
more complex and much more of a taboo issue. Sarah states how her family was
made very aware of what happened to her and ultimately made the decision not
to press charges; only plunging the knife deeper to cement the emotional damage
that she would have to endure with seeing her molester escape unscathed.
“It’s just something that they don’t like to talk about because it’s uncomfortable,”
She explains. “My dad wanted to press charges immediately, [but] my mom
actually blamed me. At the time, I was only nine years old so it created a lot of
conflict.”
Sarah elaborates how she held onto her anger towards this traumatic experience
as a way to exert some means of control in a situation where she otherwise felt
powerless. All victims of traumatic experiences, exhibit extreme issues with
anxiety for fear of the unknown.
Sarah goes into depth of how she had to cope with the aftermath of her emotions:
“It controls every decision that you make, because if you feel like you have
control over the outcome of something it definitely reduces anxiety. A lot of it is
fear of the unknown, because you think everyone is out to hurt you.”
As she grew older, Sarah began to seek solace and healing through God. She very
recently took part in a program called “Kingdom Woman,” which was conducted
at her cousin’s church by Tony and Chrystal Evans Hurst. The program itself, is
rooted in the concept of women helping other Christian women realize their
value through the eyes of God, and is centered around the concept of female
empowerment.
The bible study also incorporated an issue that many women, including Sarah,
face as a result of feeling undervalued in society because of experiences that
they’ve gone through. For the longest time as a result of her sexual assault
experience, she felt impure as a result of having a piece of herself taken from her
against her will. And Sarah recalls how the program felt as though it was,
cleansing the impurities from her “dirty’ soul.”
“It really opened my eyes to see that how I’m making myself to be, is not how God
views me at all.” In hindsight, Sarah realizes how this was the Lord’s initial push
in guiding her on the path to let her soul finally heal from all of the pain that has
been inflicted upon it.
While at Bible study one night, Sarah asked a woman from the group, who is a
nurse, to look at some areas on her back. The nurse told Sarah that she had
shingles and that she needed to get to the doctor’s immediately. That night Sarah
went to a local urgent care, and was treated by a nurse and a doctor that were
very open about their Christian beliefs.
And at one point, the nurse looked Sarah dead in the eye and said bluntly,
“Whatever it is you’re holding on to, you need to let it go.” Looking back at it now,
Sarah recalls the situation as being very ironic and was at the moment thankful
that the shingles had been secluded to one spot, instead of spreading like it
usually does.
And when she was leaving with her prescriptions, Sarah recalls saying to the
nurse practitioner that she appreciated the comment that the nurse gave her, and
the nurse even said to her, “We are all Christians here, and we just want you to
know that whatever you have going on in your life, you need to let it go. Because
whatever is going on spiritually is manifesting physically; because inside you are
sick and it’s coming out in a physical realm.”
Sarah’s emotional burden was becoming too heavy for her to carry, and her
internal struggle was starting to become more apparent. It was affecting her
concentration and ability to sleep. With raw emotion in her voice she states, “This
went way deeper than just hurt feelings. At the time I wasn’t healing, I was only
getting worse.”
During the car ride home from the urgent care center, it became clear that God
was speaking to her through these people, telling her it was time to let go. And
that night, she finally did. At that moment, she was finally ready to rid her soul of
all the pain and breathe a huge sigh of relief because she knew that she was
never alone in the process. There was an undeniable sense of comfort that
flooded through her veins when she realized that God had been by her side all
along.
For those of you struggling to let something in your past go, heed Sarah’s advice
and let what is bothering you go. Holding grudges only hurts you, not the person
that you hold it against.

Women's Showcase

The Uplifting Story of a Girl Who is Changing the World One Water Well At a Time

Article by Joanna Buoniconti, Staff writer

Everyone has a purpose in life, and we each discover it at various stages of life. At
only nine-years-old, Brittany Harris discovered hers. While at a Children of the
World concert for her church, she heard the alarming statistic that one billion
people across the world live without access to clean water. Then, Brittany heard
the lord’s voice, clear as day telling her that she needed to help those less
fortunate than her. Despite growing up within a society that is not really
accepting of God, Brittany credits her success to finding an identity within Christ.
A junior in high school now, Brittany has partnered with the non-profit
organization Water Wells for Africa (WWFA) and has raised enough money to
build twenty-seven water wells in Malawi, Africa. She has organized fundraisers
over the past eight years in order to get her community involved in the
organization as much as possible. Baking is one of Brittany’s passions, and every
year she gathers her friends and family together a few days prior to Thanksgiving
to make homemade pies and cake balls that people have ordered. Another
fundraiser that she has orchestrated over the past couple of years, is entitled
Walk for Water. It is meant to mimic the challenges that women have to go
through in walking for miles with a bucket of water on their head. They gather
buckets from Home Depot and fill them up a quarter of the way and challenge
people to walk around a track that way they can get a taste of the physical
exertion that many people have to go through on a daily basis in order to survive.
Additionally, 100% of all of the profits that she receives goes toward the water
wells.
Brittany has had the honor of visiting Malawi, Africa twice and being able to
witness the trajectory of her work. It’s not only the people in the villages that
benefit from having clean water, but the animals do as well. From her time there,
Harris witnessed the civilians becoming happier and accepting God into their
lives, as a result of being given another chance at life. While Brittany’s work is
nothing shy of inspiring, she needs other’s support to be able to continue with it.
With the holiday season here, remember to be thankful for those around you and
keep the true meaning of Christmas close to your heart!
If you wish to donate to Brittany’s cause, please visit brittanysdream.net

Women's Showcase

CAMFED, An Organization Driven on the Principle of Building Young Girls A Brighter Future

Article by Joanna Buoniconti, Staff Writer

We may not think it, but in the United States we are privileged to many things
that others can only dream of having. An access to education is not as easily
provided to the youth in third world countries, as it is to the youth of America.
This issue is especially dominant within the female population. Females, in fact,
make up two-thirds of the worldwide illiterate population. In the sub-saharan
regions of Africa, the CAMFED organization (Campaign for Female Education) has
been working to remedy this issue; and to date have supported 2.6 million girls
through providing them access to a secondary school education.
In speaking to the executive director of the US chapter, Brooke Hutchinson, it
became clear just how life-changing the work that they are doing is. They are not
only providing women with an access to education, but with a future as well.
Most young girls do attend primary school, it is upon entering into secondary
school when the divide appears. The harsh truth is that many families in Africa
cannot afford to send their daughters to school. It’s not that the schools cost any
of the citizens money to attend, it comes down to the fact that they need young
girls to help in the fields or at the market and the cost to have someone else do
that is often too great for families to bear. Underprivileged families often have to
choose to send their sons to secondary schools over their daughters, because they
have a higher likelihood of finding a job afterwards.
CAMFED was established in 1993, and its premise exists upon alleviating the
financial burdens of families who want to give their daughters an education, but
not have a means to. Contrary to what someone may think the organization does
not choose the girls, rather the community recognizes the girls that are the most
vulnerable and deserving of this help. The company works with those in
Zimbabwe, Ghana, Zambia, Tanzania, and Malawi. They receive a majority of
their funds from various government and large statutory organizations in
addition to support from individuals. This past October, CAMFED has launched a
partnership with Michelle Obama under her Global Girls Alliance organization.
Whose premise coalligns with the foundation of CAMFED, in which they heavily
invest in female leadership through education.
There is no denying that women are going to be the face of the future. In order to
assume our rightful power and places in the world, we need to look out for those
that come after us who may not have been granted all of the experiences that we
were privy to. Unlike other similar organizations, CAMFED recognizes the
importance of an education but also what comes after. They have a peer mentor
program called CAMA, consisting of 120,000, in which women who have
graduated come back and help those who are going through similar experiences
that they went through. All young girls have the potential to follow their dreams
and lead the world into a brighter future, they just have to be given the
opportunity to succeed.
“The proof of what girls’ education looks like is so powerful. And our goal is to
help as many girls as we can.”
Upon graduating most girls start their own businesses, or go into the business
field. Education shapes us for the better, and CAMFED is truly opening so many
doors for these young women in ways that are unimaginable.
To make a donation, please visit camfed.org

Women's Showcase

“The Breast Archives,” Is Breaking Down the Barriers that Encompass Female Suppression

 

Article by Joanna Buoniconti, Staff Writer HCWM

In the 21st century, women are considered to be coming into the height of their

power, but can we really assume power in society and in life when so few of us

are truly content in our own skin? A person’s body is often the first thing that we

notice when meeting someone. For hundreds of years, women’s bodies have been

seen as mere objects to be lust after or worse ridiculed, when deemed displeasing

to the eye. But it hasn’t always been like this! From a young age, we are taught by

society to cover our breasts. We are conditioned to believe that the female energy

is something that needs to be hidden and minimized, rather than celebrated.

Local filmmaker and former WGBY producer, Meagan Murphy, hopes to help

resolve these issues in her documentary and work associated, entitled “The

Breast Archives,” by opening up the conversation for women to openly talk about

their bodies and how it relates to a preconceived sense of self.

Murphy, a former graduate of Northeastern University, has always had a passion

for filmmaking. She studied Communications in college and kick started her

career shortly after by becoming involved with various TV stations and

production companies in Boston. While living in the city she worked on a couple

films and edited a magazine geared toward filmmaking and photography, known

as The Boston Shoot magazine.

Twenty years ago, Murphy ventured out to Western Mass to work as a producer

for a startup company that was stationed in Springfield. And while the company

didn’t prove to be successful, she soon became attached to the scenery and

historic charm that this area has to offer. She didn’t know it at the time but

Meagan Murphy would gain more than she ever dreamed she could in making

the decision to come to this area.

 

What inspired Murphy to start “The Breast Archives” project?

Upon moving out here, Murphy got a job working as a producer at WGBY. She

loved working there and remained as a producer for twelve years before starting

her own project: “I was going along and doing my thing [at WGBY], I was recently

married and I was really looking for a women’s group. I joined this mystery

school, known as ‘The Priestess Path’. While I was doing that, I started to realize

that women’s lives and their identities were formed by their relationship with

their bodies. And I realized that in the programming and producing I had been

doing for all these years, I wasn’t contextualizing women’s stories in that way. I

was coming at it from a more mainstream approach and it just became

something that I was more aware of.”

The issue fully imbedded itself, when it became personal. In growing up with

large breasts and them developing at a young age, Murphy recalls her breasts

changing the way that her peers and friends interacted with her. “It wasn’t an

issue at the time, but I just felt like a spectacle” she admits. Millions of young girls

around the globe feel ashamed of their body because of their breasts, and it’s an

issue that no one talks about. However, it seems to affect every women at some

point in their lives.

Breast cancer diagnoses have skyrocketed during the last couple of decades. A

coincidence? Murphy didn’t think so, when many of her friends and family were

diagnosed. For many women, their breasts were a foreign body to them. And

women who were diagnosed harbored this fear and resentment towards a piece

of themselves. Many women never talk about these things, about these emotions

towards our breasts because we’ve been taught to hold shame towards them. But

these feelings are not going away, in fact, their roots are only deepening.

In a conversation with a friend of hers who is a world practiced Hindu doctor, the

issue of breast cancer came up. To which her friend offered an eye-opening

statistic, “90% of [all] women are unhappy with their breasts.” Like anyone else

would be, Murphy was equally stunned and intrigued by this statement. Then,

Murphy started connecting the dots between all that she had observed thus far

on this topic and sensed a correlation between an increase in the amount of

breast cancer and learned body dysmorphia. Murphy, then started doing

research on this topic and found corroborating data to support her suspicions

and observations.

 

One of Murphy’s favorite activities to do when she’s not working or doing

research, is traveling. She’s been fortunate enough to travel all around the globe,

and similar to many world travelers, she finds inspiration for her work within

places that she visits. Shortly after making these discoveries, Murphy went on a

trip to Egypt, which in retrospect became a fundamental building block of her

project. While exploring some of the ancient temples, which were completely

deserted due to the president stepping down just prior, Murphy couldn’t help but

notice a common theme. A majority of these massive temples were scattered

along the Nile and were only accessible by boat. These temples were all dedicated

to various goddesses, and in looking at the carvings on the outside and in the

inner sanctuaries, Murphy could hardly believe her eyes, “Every female was

topless. They were nursing, they were running, and some were in ceremony; but

the women of Egypt were topless, essentially. And I started to wonder, who were

these women? What was the relationship that these women have with their

bodies?”

It was through traveling to another country and seeing the ancient drawings, that

Murphy was able to grasp the magnitude of this issue. Society did not always

have astigmatisms towards the female breasts. And throughout the rest of her

trip, an idea kept coming into her mind that “the breasts contained a unique

wisdom.” Ever since the dawning of the patriarch, people have tried to suppress

the female wisdom by forcing young girls to wear bras. Motivated by her notion,

Murphy returned home ready and eager to tackle this project, to interview

women about the “wisdom in their breasts.”

How did Murphy go about creating a documentary on such a controversial issue?

Seasoned filmmakers often see the world through a different perspective, good

filmmakers have an undeniable talent for portraying controversial themes in a

beautiful way that have the power to leave an imprint on the human spirit.

Furthermore, this project was undoubtedly destined to fall into Meagan Murphy’s

lap. When casting her net in search of people to take part in her documentary,

she wanted the women to be vulnerable and transparent. Given that the

documentary was titled, “The Breast Archives,” the women who participated did

have to show their breasts. Murphy recalls the women being nervous when first

revealing themselves, but the documentary is all about women connecting with

their primitive feminine energy. And for anyone who has viewed the

documentary can attest to the fact that, the women seemed empowered and more

comfortable once being exposed. The issues that women have with their breasts

is universal, and Murphy’s purpose in pursuing this is for women to start

discussing these issues instead of suppressing them; because if this issue is

expressed more one can hope that the female breast will become less stigmatized.

What were people’s reactions upon seeing the documentary?

As many important issues in society, the issues that women have with their

breasts can be portrayed as a highly controversial issue. Over a year ago when

her film was shown for the first time, the reaction of the audience can best be

described as cathartic and overwhelming. The women in the room were relieved.

The whole issue revolves around the fact that women feel alone in their

insecurities, specifically in the shame that they hold inside about their breasts.

These insecurities are normal, and in watching this documentary women are

finally able to see that we’re not alone in our feelings. More importantly, if nine

women were able to resist the shame that society conditions us to have against

our breasts, maybe we all can resist our inner negativity towards our breasts.

Whether we choose to acknowledge it or not, throughout history and very much

today men play a large part in a female’s relationship with her breasts. And

shockingly enough, the majority of Murphy’s audience has become men. They

have developed this appreciation and wonder over time for a woman’s breast,

specifically that of a mother’s breast. For women because we’ve been

breastfeeding for thousands of years, we become accustomed to the miraculous

nature of the process, but men who are not have developed a fascination towards

it. While it is important for women to get in touch with their feminine energy and

learn to have a good relationship with their bodies and not be shameful of them,

it is also crucial for men to learn about this since they are the ones who females

first expose their breasts to.

What work does Murphy do in the community to further implement her goals for

the project?

For younger generations, self-esteem and body dysmorphia have become

increasingly pressing issues. In order to rectify this issue, Murphy has started

orchestrating focus groups with 13 year olds and their moms, in hopes of

addressing the astigmatisms of breasts at a young age so that they prove to be less

harmful for the self-esteem later on. Murphy is also working on a Kickstarter

campaign, and raising awareness for breast cancer which is a cause that she is

very vocal about. Eventually, it is her goal to start a “Gal Pal Kit,” which is a way

for women to share breast stories in a relaxed and safe setting. From her

experience in the filmmaking industry, once a topic becomes acknowledged and

talked about more it becomes less of a taboo subject, which is Murphy’s ultimate

goal in this project!

While Meagan Murphy is best known for being a phenomenal filmmaker, she is

first and foremost a woman, who loves nature and enjoys being active. It is

through her own insecurities that this project that this project arose, but it has

become a mission for her and grown to be so much more than she ever dreamed

possible. This is a very personal issue that pleads importance, for the sake of the

mental health of all young girls and women far and wide. Once the suppression

of a woman’s spirit and body is stopped, then will women fully blossom and be

able to assume their rightful roles in helping to shape this world into a better

place!

For more information about Meagan Murphy and her groundbreaking work, visit

http://www.thebreastarchives.org

Women's Showcase

BRAINS OVER BEAUTY Changes in the Miss America Organization for a newer modern world

By: Claire Crowley, Staff Writer, HCWM

In early June, the Miss America Organization announced that it was doing away with the swimsuit portion of the Miss America competition. It’s a move that is being praised by Heather DeSantis, who proudly holds the title of Miss Ohio International, 2018.

“I couldn’t be more happy about it,” stated DeSantis. “Women should be judged on their hearts, not their bodies.”
The choice to replace the swimsuit competition, which had been part of the Miss America competition since its inception in 1912, with an interactive discussion about contestants’ talents, goals and accomplishments, shows that the pageant industry is not immune to the modern era of female empowerment. Pageant competitions nationwide are likely to follow in the footsteps of the Miss America Organization and restructure their competitions to focus less on critiquing the physical appearance of contestants.
“Models like Ashley Graham are helping,” said DeSantis, noting that, like the modeling industry, the pageant world is evolving to be more inclusive of women of all ages, sizes and backgrounds. “It’s an exciting time for women,” said DeSantis.

It’s not only the pageant competitions that are changing – pageant competitors, like DeSantis, are also breaking from tradition. Often times a pageant career begins at an early age and emphasises the achievement of outward perfection to the point of obsession. DeSantis did not begin competing in pageants until her early twenties, instead focusing on building a career in charity work, including donating her time to help to inspire and empower young girls who have survived tumultuous and abusive backgrounds.

DeSantis hopes that pageant competitors will feel empowered by wearing a tiara that represents their achievements in their careers and charity work rather than feeling pressured to spend countless hours at the gym chasing a fleeting glimpse of physical perfection in order to excel in the swimsuit portion of the competitions.
As for her advice to young girls looking to follow in her footsteps and enter the world of pageant competitions, Desantis says that “there’s no right path for everyone, instead the focus should be on helping others and giving back.”
It’s yet to be known if ending the swimsuit portion of the Miss America competitions will keep potential viewers from tuning in, but it’s likely to have the opposite effect in this new era – thanks to women like Desantis and Graham – where women are valued more for their accomplishments and goals, rather than how they look in a bathing suit.

Women's Showcase

East Hartford native serves on a “city at sea” aboard Navy’s largest amphibious warfare ship

An East Hartford, Connecticut, native and 2017 East Hartford High School graduate is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island.

Fireman Apprentice Shajay Davis is a machinist’s mate aboard the amphibious assault ship operating out of San Diego. A machinist’s mate is responsible for fixing, maintaining and operating the engineering equipment on the ship.

Davis credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned growing up in East Hartford.

“I learned to focus on your job and do it to the best of your abilities,” said Davis. “I look at each task as an opportunity to better myself.”

Makin Island, one of the Navy’s most advanced and largest amphibious ships, is designed to deliver Marines and their equipment where they are needed to support a variety of missions ranging from amphibious assaults to humanitarian relief efforts.

The ship, which resembles a small aircraft carrier, is longer than two football fields at 847 feet, is 106 feet wide and weighs more than 41,000 tons fully loaded. It has gas turbine engines and two variable speed electric motors that can push the ship through the water in excess of 20 knots. It can carry more than 12 helicopters and six fixed-wing aircraft.

Sailors’ jobs are highly varied aboard Makin Island. More than 1,000 men and women make up the ship’s crew, which keeps all parts of the ship running smoothly, from handling weaponry to maintaining the engines. An additional 1,700 Marines can be embarked. It is capable of transporting Marines and landing them where they are needed via helicopters, vertical takeoff and landing aircraft and landing craft.

“Makin Island is one of the most advanced warships on the waterfront, but she’s nothing without her crew,” said Capt. David Oden, commanding officer of Makin Island. “They’ve proved themselves time and time again, and their level of professionalism and dedication is second to none.”

These amphibious assault ships project power from the sea serving as the cornerstone of the amphibious ready group. Makin Island was delivered to the Navy in April 2009 and is the first U.S. Navy amphibious assault ship to be equipped with both gas turbines and auxiliary propulsion system instead of steam boilers.

These ships support special operations and expeditionary warfare missions, transporting U.S. Marines from sea to shore through a combination of aircraft and water landing craft. Because of their inherent capabilities, these ships have been and will continue to be called upon to support humanitarian and other contingency missions on short notice.

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Davis and other Makin Island sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes.

“Serving in the Navy fills me with a sense of accomplishment and pride knowing I am volunteering for my country,” added Davis.