‘I work hard every day to be a leader, to be a role model for young girls’: Celebrating women leaders on International Women’s Day

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 6
Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 4:26 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LETCHER COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - A day celebrating the achievements of women across the globe and in Eastern Kentucky.

Letcher County Public Schools Superintendent Denise Yonts is one of few women who has held her position.

“I work hard every day to be a leader, to be a role model for young girls particularly. So that we can teach them that they can do anything,” said Yonts.

City of Whitesburg Mayor Tiffany Craft said this day is a very honorable day.

“It’s very humbling for me. I never dreamed of being a woman that would make history. That just never entered into my mind being someone whose apart history. I just thought my role would be a wife and mom. That would be as historical as it would get,” said Craft.

Both women have led, loved and lived through a historic time in their community as the July flood destroyed much of what they knew. Both said that has been the biggest challenge they have faced in their roles.

“The flood has definitely been one of the most challenging events for us. For me as the leader in this district looking for ways to overcome the obstacles we’ve had with the loss of buildings. Our community has suffered so much, and for students and staff to lose their homes and lose their schools,” said Yonts.

“I would put the whole experience with the flood and the devastation that has brought on to this city, and to know that I have had a hand a small hand in helping us overcome a lot of that has just been miraculous,” added Craft.

Both credit the other strong women in their lives for much of their strength.

“My mother, I had two very strong grandmothers and teachers along the way,” said Craft.

“Of course, my mother. I had a very strong mother who supported me in everything that I did, and I’m the youngest of seven children. I have five sisters,” Yonts added.

Both said they strive each day to leave a lasting impact on their community.

“It’s always been a male mayor until me, but I have the same vision to see Whitesburg grow and prosper. No matter male or female. I want the best for Whitesburg,” said Craft.

“Anything is possible. Don’t limit yourself. Find something you love and see how that plays in the rest of your life,” added Yonts.

The 2023 global campaign theme is #embrace equity.

According to the International Women’s Day website, the campaign aims to encourage important conversations on why equal opportunities are not enough and why equal is not always fair. People start from different places, so true inclusion and belonging require equitable action.

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 5:30