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Florence Volzer
By Helena Soreo
6th Grade, Wiley Middle School

Essay Question: What woman has been your role model? What qualities do you admire about her? How has she affected your life?

A woman that has been my role model was my Great Grandma, Florence Volzer. There are many qualities I admire about her.

She was born in 1901, and back then, all women were meant to do was to get married, have kids, and stay at home for the rest of their lives. But, when my Great Grandma was in her forties, her husband died of cancer. Instead of giving up, she refused to let her family suffer, and she became a teacher.

She stayed strong for her children even when one of her sons died. She worked very hard for many, many years. Thanks to her, her three remaining children were the first generation in our family to go to college.

She didn't really affect my life until a few years ago. When I was younger, I would visit her at a nursing home, but she never remembered who any of us were.

When she died in 2003, I learned so many amazing things about her. And I realized that she has affected my life. I mean, what would have happened if she hadn't stayed strong when her husband died? Where would I be? Would I exist? Would I have an education?

Half the things that I have may not have been here if it wasn't for her!


During the month of March, Wiley Middle School in University Heights celebrated Women's History Month. The program was sponsored by Reaching Heights, a organization in the Cleveland Heights area. Students were given the option to enter an essay competition.

1st Prize Winner: Helena Soreo




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