Last month, my editors and I decided to produce a series of features that would showcase women on Guam who have made a significant impact on the community and displayed leadership in their respective fields in celebration of Women’s History Month.
Although it’s been more than a week since March ended, I wanted to remember my experience of interviewing the island’s first elected Public Auditor, Doris Flores Brooks, the last woman I was able to feature during the project.
In earlier weeks, I’d interviewed Guam’s delegate to U.S. Congress, Madeleine Bordallo, Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood, and Bank of Guam President Lou Leon Guerrero.
Don’t give up. Don’t quit. – Doris Flores Brooks
A few days ago I received a hand-written note from Mrs. Brooks, thanking me for the article.
It was such a classy gesture, from such an exacting and judicious lady. I knew I wanted to be just like her.
I think that’s what I enjoyed most about this project: all the ladies I spoke to are women I want to be just like. There were so many moments over the course of these interviews where I said to myself, “Oh man, so if I just did what she did, I could be like her one day?”
Regardless of political beliefs, I still aspire to also embody the characteristics of the women I admire. Throughout this project, I wanted to focus every story on the things that made these women tick, and what motivated them to start on their path.
The first time I met Mrs. Brooks, she scared me. Since it’s her job to insure the transparent handling of public funds, I felt like, standing in front of her, I, too, was transparent and she could see all the things I was ashamed of. But she smiled at me and gave me a very nice quote that I used in my story.
I saw her again in an elevator once, and she smiled at me.
But it wasn’t until I sat down with her for this interview that I realized how warm she is, and how open.
I hope, no matter where my life takes me, and no matter how tough I’ll have to be in any given situation, that I’ll always keep my softness.