Celebrating Mothers: Cierra Gunderson


May 9, 2017

Speaking from a point of view of being "motherless," surrounding myself with different women has really helped mold and shape me into the woman I'm becoming today. I believe it's extremely important to have mother figures in the lives of young people because the support, tough love, mentoring, and constancy of having someone in your corner can be beneficial to how a person moves throughout their life. Being that my mother passed away, I have found comfort in multiple women who have made it a part of their lives to make sure that I am okay in all areas and aspects. When it comes to family, my aunt Sudiah Haynes and my God mother Iris Haynes have been the two main women who have taken on the role of being my mother. Being that they are different ages, I have learned and had different experiences with them both and I believe that's what makes the bond special. It's kind of the best of both worlds because I feel diverse in the idea that I can be around an older crowd of people as well as a younger crowd, and be able to connect with no problem. I have been fortunate enough to also find "mother figures" in my teachers from school, my friends' parents, through California Youth Connection, through Children's Defense Fund – California, and even my current boss. I've been blessed with having so many great women surrounding me. I have taken pieces of each women and put them together to create a guide for myself. I wish all young kids the opportunity to learn from and be loved by amazing women like I have.