When you’re busy teaching kids the periodic table, who has time for makeup? When you’re devoted to making sure families have food on their holiday table, who has time to coordinate fabulous party fashions? When you spend your days counseling troubled children, who can find time for a hairstyle?
In the spirit of the season, PADUCAH LIFE Magazine decided to treat three beautiful women (inside and out) to a day devoted just to making them look and feel gorgeous. With MUCH thanks to Erin Hendley for making their faces glow and much gratitude to Erleigh Conwell for coiffing these dedicated divas! And a big salute to Sara Falder at Flowers + Furbish for the beautiful backdrop.
We also want to thank Cassity’s, Simply B, and Taylor’s & Tots for outfitting our honorees in some terrific holiday-worthy wear.
Many among us make their Paducah lives count in very important ways each day. These women of compassion and community-mindedness are three examples. This holiday we celebrate these “women with a mission” for the good work they do and the beautiful way in which they do it.
Biology & Forensic Science Teacher
McCracken County High School
Allyson graduated from Mattoon High School and earned a BS in Biology from Eastern Illinois University. She says she was drawn to academia to make a difference and to help kids find joy in science. “In order for us to compete on a global level we need students to be competent in all the sciences. But because science specialties are heavily male dominated, I felt compelled to particularly inspire girls to pursue a career in the areas of science and technology.”
Allyson not only runs around all day making sure her students are making the grade, she also runs an occasional marathon or obstacle race. She and her husband, Matthew, have a little girl named Ivy and Allyson is currently working on a Master’s Degree in School Counseling at Murray State.
Jennifer at Taylor’s & Tots gave Allyson a casual but classy view of the holidays with this bo-ho ruby jersey dress from B Clothing. The flirty fringed sleeves add that festive touch and the fringe beaded necklace accents the look perfectly. The Southern Inspired boots provide a down-home feel for the party waiting to happen. The Just Charmed bangles feature natural stones.
Paducah Child Watch
Janey Collins has a degree in Psychology and a graduate degree in Arts in Expressive Therapies. “When I learned about a master’s program in expressive arts therapy at Lesley University in Massachusetts, it seemed a good fit for my interests because it combined areas of study that I enjoy: art, music, dance, drama, writing and counseling,” Janey says. She brought those creative skills home to Paducah’s Child Watch in 2010.
Janey works with children of abuse to assess their level of stress and anxiety and then provides creative therapies to help establish more normal childhood experiences. “These little children carry enormous grief, shame, and guilt. I try to be a grown-up who reduces the hurt. Studies have shown that childhood trauma can have a life-long impact. At Child Watch we try to do everything we can to prevent that from happening.”
Obviously leaving the emotional turmoil behind every day is extremely difficult. “I have to make an effort to take care of myself. I go to the gym, sing, write. I volunteer in the community. I try to spend as much time with my own kids, who have at times encouraged me to look for a different job because I do come home irritable or grumpy sometimes. I know that I have to be as committed to taking care of me as I am to taking care of others. Luckily I have a forgiving and understanding family. I also have the greatest co-workers! Nobody can do this work alone and these children heal most fully with the help of many caretakers,” Janey comments. “It does indeed take a village.”
Missy Brown at Simply B chose an adorable black and white tweed C. Luce dress with black leather accents for Janey’s holiday happy look. She will certainly make a dramatic entrance AND exit since the dress has a cute cut-out in the back. To add to the sophisticated ensemble Missy chose black and gold embellished bangles for a little sizzle.
Family Service Society
For six years Pam Truitt has directed the projects and programs of Paducah’s Family Service Society. “I chose this position to find solutions to help families be better equipped to handle day-to-day challenges,” Pam comments. Paducah Family Services serves as a crisis resource to families of Paducah/McCracken County and the needs keep increasing.
“The rate of poverty in our community is growing faster than the national average,” Pam adds. “Until we begin to address the issues facing many of our families below the poverty line we will continue to see these rates increase and these families in need of more assistance.”
Pam hopes that with continued awareness and increased involvement, the ability of organization to create new ways of aiding those in need will be enhanced. “My hope is to see our organization grow into expanding services that include more in-depth case management as well as adult mentoring opportunities.”
Running a vital program like Family Service Society keeps Pam on the move, but things really speed up when she takes on a half-marathon. She serves on the Iron Mom planning committee and finds that devoting herself to running allows her to indulge her other passion—eating. “I’m a major foodie and I love to cook. I’ll also go WAY out of the way to find a good restaurant,” she admits.
Marilyn Cassity of Cassity’s chose a lavish black lace illusion dress for day or evening by Joseph Ribkoff. The flattering fit and flare of this holiday selection provides a beautiful backdrop for the hand crafted sterling silver earrings and cuff by Anna Beck. Beck’s ornate but classic designs are often inspired by exotic images from the islands.