Author, latest (with daughter Darcy Deane), How Great Women Lead (2012)
First African-American to win Olympic medals in ski-racing, winning a silver and two bronze medals in the 1984 Paralympics in Innsbruck, Austria
Was appointed to the White House National Economic Council
Graduated with honors from Harvard University and won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford
Being More Than An Overcomer
Bonnie St. John went to Sunday school as a child, but as a teen, she turned away from God. She had faith in herself and relied on her own strength, but God stuck with her throughout. She made things harder for herself by not relying on God. She was sexually abused as a child, which shut her off from an intimate relationship with the Lord until she became an adult. Then she found true healing from the abuse when she took it to God in prayer.
Bonnie's leg was amputated when she was five-years-old – the result of a physical abnormality she was born with. Once Bonnie returned home from the hospital, her mom gave her a brochure featuring the picture of an amputee on a ski, saying she could dream big. Bonnie has done that by becoming an Olympic skier and the Paralympics Silver Medalist in downhill skiing. Back during her Olympic career, Bonnie relied on meditation instead of prayer. Years later, when she had to heal from sexual abuse in order to be a good mother, she received her first breakthrough in prayer. As she was traveling to give the motivational speech, she was terrified and in great pain. She started crying and could not move. She asked God for help, and she felt the difference right away. She felt a sense of relief and was able to successfully deliver her speech.
Her next milestone in prayer and with her relationship to God was when she had to deliver a speech to 10,000 people and she remembered when she would meditate to prepare for skiing. She started praying and imagined Jesus line dancing. This helped her with her speech because she felt like He was trying to show her the joy in things. After this experience, Bonnie started attending church and praying regularly. Her relationship with God was no longer a hobby. The ups and downs of life, including a broken marriage, changed her relationship with Christ and drew her closer to Him.
Bonnie has achieved the highest levels of success in a variety of endeavors throughout her life. In addition to her success as a Paralympic athlete, she is the author of six books, a highly sought after keynote speaker, a television and radio personality, a business owner, and the single mother of a teenage daughter. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard University in 1986, and won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University, taking an M.Litt. in Economics. Upon her return to the United States, Bonnie was appointed by President Bill Clinton as a Director for Human Capital Issues on the White House National Economic Council. NBC Nightly News called Bonnie, “One of the five most inspiring women in America.” So, it makes sense that when Bonnie, a single mother, thought her teenage daughter, Darcy, was saying, “No thank you,” to a call of leadership, Bonnie did what she does best. She decided to inspire Darcy. “I had never really put that much thought into leadership before. It was sort of mysterious to me and I didn’t really connect with it that much,” says her daughter Darcy. Bonnie recognized that while current women leaders have broken down barriers and thrown open doors of opportunity, researchers would agree that Darcy is not the only girl who questions whether the climb up the ladder of success is worth it. Today’s ambitious, confident, and highly educated young women are better prepared than any generation before them to close the gender gap. Yet studies show that women do not want to succeed at the old game. They want to redefine what leadership means and embrace it in their own way.
Embarking on an Adventure
In a quest to inspire her daughter and show her the limitless possibilities for her future, Bonnie took Darcy on an incredible mother-daughter adventure into the lives of some of the most fascinating women shaping our world today. They went behind the scenes at Facebook headquarters, inside the State Department in Washington, down the red carpet of a Hollywood movie premiere with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, into a home-spun tortilla factory in Nicaragua, backstage at The Jon Stewart Show, mingling with athletes at the Paralympic Winter Games, shopping in London, into the cockpit of super-sonic fighter jets, and through many other exotic and exciting locations. In each rich, heart-to-heart visit with these amazing female role models, Bonnie and Darcy felt their warmth, absorbed their wisdom, and experienced what it’s like to walk in their shoes. They took the rare and unique opportunity to visit with high profile women as well as a fashion designer, a fighter pilot, a dynamic stay-at-home mother of five, and many more. “Going on this journey with my daughter really crystalized the importance of helping women at every point in their career to be the best they can be and really find their potential to lead. Some of the women Bonnie and Darcy visited include:
- Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia, who risked death many times to emerge as the first female head of state in male-dominated Africa.
- Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, whose approach to balancing her work and her family is as innovative and successful as the company she oversees.
- Hillary Rodham Clinton, who describes the timeless value of mentorship, and how women are particularly suited to this essential duty.
- Marin Alsop, Musical Director and Conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, who expounds on her success as a woman in an extremely male-dominated field.
- Dr. Condoleezza Rice, who shares her hard-won wisdom about how leadership does not mean trying to do every single thing yourself, and about the irreplaceable value of face-to-face conversation.
CBN IS HERE FOR YOU!
Are you seeking answers in life? Are you hurting?
Are you facing a difficult situation?
A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.