18th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest The American Experience
The Gift: Nurturing a Future Flame

My boss surprised me with a holiday gift, the first one I had ever received since I joined the workforce. She thoughtfully selected a handmade blown glass candle, and lugged it with her all the way from Nashville to Albany, NY. Thankfully it did not break on the way! This candle symbolizes to me the gift of her mentorship. As a female who was an early pioneer in our field, she recognized the challenges of being a woman in a predominantly male industry, and made the effort to guide me at the start of my career. There is a saying that candles are unique in that they can light another flame without extinguishing their own. I’m grateful to my boss for her mentorship and for lighting my way. I hope to do the same for others.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 01.2019
Date Uploaded: 09.2020
Photo Location: Albany, New York, United States of America
Copyright: © Ariella Michal Medows