Hope Harris Gallery


Women Empowerment Wednesday: Simone Manuel

Brains and Strength,

this young Olympic Champion has defied all stereotypes as an African-American youth. If  this is your first introduction, 20 y.o. Simone Manuel is the first African-American swimmer to win an Individual Olympic Gold Medal. Recently, she became the first woman to swim the 100-yard freestyle in less than 46 seconds (45.56). Aside from her epic skill in the water, she also took her unwavering drive and focus back to Stanford University where she is a rising senior studying communications. She alongside Lia Neal, another barrier-breaking African-American Olympic medalist, also helped Stanford win it's first NCAA championship in 19 years in March. 

Simone’s achievement has given hope to young black children across the country who are stricken by the statistic that states 70% of african-americans can not swim. She is also breaking barriers by attending one of the most prestigious universities in America, whose demographics show less than 6% of their student body consisting of African-Americans. Simone Manuel is the definition of a true student athlete. Her success has truly inspired me, as a rising high school senior to work harder and stronger as I prepare for my next chapter of life. If Simone Manuel can do it, so can I!


Deja Harris