I remember every year at the closing of both State Recognition Days (SRD) and International Recognition Days (IRD) that I would say to myself, “Next year I will be in the KOP Circle of Light.” I have a great respect for KOPS and those that have maintained their KOPS status. I have come to realize when you make KOPS it is a great accomplishment, but the fight has really just started. It is twice the struggle to stay in leeway.

I was able to get to this point as a result of attending IRD in 2019 in Portland. TOPS President Rick Danforth did an amazing session on “Rocketing to Your Goal,” reminding us that every positive step forward makes us stronger. My TOPS traveling sisters, friends, and accountability partners Denise Triplett, Esther Dickerson, and I were so motivated that we made a pact – by next IRD, we would all be KOPS together. Though it took two years, on April 26, 2021 we were all KOPS at the same time, an exciting evening for us. In that moment, I felt accomplished, that I had done something, that only I could do for myself.