In My Own Words

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  1. What is your name?
    Camila Hallemeier
  2. A little about you
    I am a mom to a busy boy and girl who make us laugh and keep us on our toes! We moved here from the cities for my hubs’ job with Mayo. We love the friends and community we have made in Rochester. I left my “first career” to take a pause and be more present for my family (and I am privileged for having another income that allows me to do that!). I think we too often say “oh, the kids are growing up so fast.” I can’t stop time. But I can re-structure my life according to my priorities – and that’s what I hoped to do. I work part time for Diversity Council. As an immigrant, I am happy to help spread empathy and courage , and elevate the voices of the under-represented – this work is so critical in our communities today.
  3. What does “bravery” mean to you?
    I think bravery starts with asking questions and getting real when we disagree with others. I think it means truly listening with an open mind and open heart. I think it means letting down our guards, and admitting that maybe we didn’t have the whole picture… that we might have made some wrong assumptions. I think more than ever bravery means being vulnerable, willing to be wrong, and making a conscious effort to connect with other people you might not have naturally.
  4. Tell us about a time you were brave.
    I disagreed with my boss one time. It wasn’t well received. I felt bad and I wanted to apologize out of respect for his place in the work hierarchy. But I also wanted to understand why he had reacted so strongly – so I presented some data and asked him a lot of questions. I showed him some things he he wasn’t aware of, and I learned some things from him I had not thought about. It was actually empowering to let down our guards when we both realized that we had the same intentions.
  5. What makes you brave now?
    I think we live in a world where it’s easy to go with the flow of norms and expectations. You go school, get good grades, get the best job you can, make as much money as you can… But I think I am brave everyday when I ask myself (and we do this as a couple) – Are we doing something for the badge and money? Or are we doing it because it’s important for our family, because we believe in this? I think we are being brave when we resist the urge to define success by what society defines as success, and pause to remind ourselves what is important based on our values (I just have to say again – I recognize I am in a place of privilege that allows me to make these conscious choices).
  6. We all know brave people. Who in your life is brave and why?
    I have to say my kids. My oldest one specifically is developing such a strong sense of right and wrong. This idea of being “just” is starting to show up in different conversations, and I love seeing how thoughtful he can be with his questions and the processing of information. And the emotions (which we are working on how to best express them ; ) when he senses an injustice. Let’s do more of that – let’s be thoughtful humans, who ask questions with genuine concern, and live our lives according to what matters most to us.

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