Today we’d like to introduce you to Jacquelyn Rodriguez.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Jacquelyn. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
The path I took to start empowering women was a decade in the making.
I enlisted in the Air Force Reserve at the age of 22 and spent almost the first full decade in the service as a Combat Photojournalist, also as a govt. contractor for the DoD traveling to over 15 countries.
I was raised by two military veterans, and who taught me to be very involved in community and always to serve my country, I was closest to my dad, who spent over 30 years in the military, starting in Vietnam at the age of 19. He continued to serve his community as a homicide detective for almost three decades.
Every country I traveled to and every training I went on, I always shared my experiences with him, and he lived vicariously through my service. He was my hero, my rock, and my biggest supporter.
In Nov. of 2016, my dad was diagnosed with kidney, lung and brain cancer. What I’ll never forget, was how he expressed the most pain and fear about having to stop working.
To him, giving up his service to his country and his community, and being a voice for the people that could no longer speak, was far worse than anything cancer could do to him.
After he passed away, I was so broken and lost, depressed and angry, how could I keep his legacy alive?
Someone came up to me right after his funeral and said, “You should get a bench with his name on it.”
I thought to myself “Screw a bench. I’m going to make sure his name is never forgotten”.
Within a month, I had founded a nonprofit in his honor. The Jack Morenberg Foundation – which provides scholarships and financial aid to youth pursuing careers as first responders.
The foundation’s mission is to encourage, mentor and reward youth who exemplify values like service, honor, integrity and selflessness. Those who promote positive change in society, with volunteer service or dedication to police, fire or military youth programs.
After two years of running the foundation and awarding five scholarships and supporting over 75 youth to attend trainings, ensuring they have access to uniforms and travel, as well as conducting leadership and mindset trainings; I decided I wanted to do more.
Specifically for women.
I consider myself very fortunate to have had some strong women leaders throughout my personal life, starting with my mother, and throughout my military career.
Unfortunately, many women go their entire lives without truly seeing or learning from another woman leader in all areas like confidence, assertiveness, communications and discipline.
I started my company Jacquelyn Diana, to combat this.
Through leadership coaching, products, and a podcast, I actively work with women to improve their communication and confidence, tell the other stories of strong resilient women, and offer empowering products for women to wear.
The world doesn’t need any more followers. The world needs more women leaders.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Having been raised in such a structured environment, entrepreneurship was foreign to me.
I had to seek out opportunities to learn from others in both the non-profit space and as a self-employed small business.
Most of the obstacles were mindset. Challenging the environment I was comfortable in, and constantly learning can be stressful, hard and frustrating.
With dedication, discipline and tenacity, it’s almost always worth it.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I am here to serve women who are struggling to harness their leadership mindset and presence. With over 13 years of military training, I offer leadership coaching and strategies to women who are ready to conquer their insecurities and be confident in both their professional and personal lives.
As a keynote and motivational speaker, I offer training and courses on how to master your own motivational speech, which comes from your heart, but will impact and change the lives of anyone listening.
My podcast, Command your Life is packed with leadership lessons from myself and other powerful female leaders, and tackles misconceptions about women in leadership.
I’m most proud of the community that has been created, with female veterans at the center; we are all motivated to empower other women, in or out of the service, and ultimately the next generation that comes after us.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
I’m always humbled by the messages I receive from people who my dad knew that come across my profile and share how he had impacted their lives.
That’s how I am constantly reminded that I am on the right path, and knowing that with an arsenal of leadership skills, the women I work with will have that same experience on whomever they lead in their lives.
- Website: www.jacquelyndiana.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @iamjacquelyndiana
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/jacquelyndiana
- Other: www.instagram.com/commandyourlife_podcast