(click each image to enlarge)

This has a story connected to today, which is why I am posting it in addition to the other two images being posted.

This woman is named Maile. She is the CEO of an organization called the Joyful Heart Foundation.

When I was sixteen, I began watching a TV show called Law and Order: SVU. Curious about the actress who portrayed Olivia Benson, the lead female character, I googled and started reading about Mariska Hargitay. I learned that she created Joyful Heart, an organization that created a retreat for survivors of sexual assault, and I was immediately consumed by everything about it. I couldn’t believe how much they were doing for survivors, but most of all, I couldn’t believe how high the statistics were. I began repeating statistics and facts to my lunch table at school every day. That was the seedling that began my interest in this field.

Then, in February, I stated on my private Twitter account that one day, I would collaborate with the Joyful Heart. Along with it, I said that positivity gets you places.

A week later, Maile, the woman in these photos, emailed me. Out of the blue. And two weeks after that, I found out they were choosing to honor me at this year’s gala in NYC. Tonight is the night of the gala.

I am honored to be the person capturing Maile’s strength in these photographs. She is a truly extraordinary person.

And I am honored to be a part of tonight’s event. I don’t know if I have enough words to describe how it feels.

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