My name is Benita, I'm 66 years old, and I grew up during a time when there were few organized sports opportunities for girls. I didn't see women and girls doing things that were outside the typical expectations for females. My goals were based on gender expectations because I didn't know better. I wanted to be a rock musician, but girls just didn't do that. If my bike broke, I had to wait for my father or brother to have the time to fix it.
It took many years for me to discover that I had the natural logic to become a successful industrial engineer, that I had the talent to be a radio announcer, and that I could train and compete in speed roller skating. My family didn't have the money for me to do things like going to a roller rink, so I had no idea that I would grow to love skating and my dream finally came true this year when I won the national championship for women over age 65!
I own a bicycle shop - Mr. Michael Recycles Bicycles - and my shop donates ten percent of all income to charity. My business supports the Ann Bancroft Foundation because no girl should have to wait until she is 30 to participate in a sport, or 40 to begin a career in engineering, or 50 to start and grow a business. All girls should have the chance to explore the world and live their dreams. My business may only be able to provide one grant at a time, but that one grant gives one girl an opportunity that I didn't have, and that will change her world so someday she can change ours.