A Heart for Women in Community

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Kelly McNelis Senegor has created a movement for women to be bold in sharing their stories

Sometimes it’s challenging for women to find the courage to share the stories of their journeys, but one woman is trying to help those individuals find their voices and be confident in who they are. Kelly McNelis Senegor grew up without any siblings until she was in her 20s when her mother adopted, and she said this caused her to have strong connections with women her entire life. She moved around frequently when she was younger, and the friends she met along the way essentially became her sisters. Those connections she made with them would continue to shape her path and form a desire within her to help women from all walks of life.

Senegor developed a passion to impact women by working and connecting with them, which eventually led her to start Women for One, a global community that allows women to share their stories with one another and provide inspiration in doing so. It’s a way for women to be open about their experiences and what they’ve learned through them. Those who share on the website are called “truthtellers,” as they are doing just that: speaking truth.

“We don’t turn down anyone’s story because everybody has something valuable to say,” Senegor said. “We’re all the same, and that’s our premise in having truthtellers.”

Women for One was able to grow after much prayer and meditation by Senegor—in fact, prayer and meditation is even what led her to hear the words Women for One and know that was the perfect name for her movement. Women from around the world share their stories, and approximately 15 stories a week are submitted with lessons that women have learned from the paths they’ve taken in life. But women aren’t the only ones submitting their truths.

“There are incredible men on the site who share really beautifully from that feminine side,” Senegor said. “We’re all part of each other, and we need to support one another, uniting women and all of us. We are about the one woman: women figuring out who they are inside themselves, being courageous and taking positive actions in their lives. It starts with being courageous enough to share and create who you are now.”

She knows it isn’t always easy for a person to share personal experiences, though. In fact, Senegor was afraid to share her story with others at first, and she said that when she first started writing her blog, it was “terrifying.” But, she knows that taking small steps can help someone who is struggling to be brave enough to get their words from their hearts to others’ eyes or ears.

“Take very small, incremental steps,” she advised. “Find someone you feel safe with—someone who can guide you or just witness what you’re saying—and share. Then journal, if you don’t want to share it with a very large group. It gets that process going. This is about having the courage to stand in your truth and have no shame about your story. Sometimes the act of putting it out there really solidifies you and doesn’t define you.”

Senegor’s passion for helping women continues to grow, and she’s currently working on a book that will encourage women to find their truths and how to get to places of empowerment in their lives. At the same time, she’s been putting a lot of work into the website to make sure her main focus—inspiring women—continues to happen. She also hopes to get to more college campuses and go more international to promote cultural understanding for the world and for women to be able to communicate with each other more effectively.

“I’d love to have younger women share their stories earlier in life,” she said. “We need to connect more both generationally and culturally. All women need to understand each other better. If we come together, it will really help the world a lot more.”