This year marks the 16th year since the tragedy of the terrorist attack on U.S. Soil. A lot has happened in the 16 years since this event. We as a country have grown, we have changed, we have developed strategies to keep us safer, become stronger, more vigilant, and more importantly we have learn to come together as one nation to help one another and help fight against the powers in this world that are evil.

I would like to focus this week’s Mondays with Mooney on one person in particular who was not only changed by the events of 9/11 but has committed herself to giving back and working towards ensuring that we never forget what happened on that dreadful day 16 years ago. I have a friend by the name of Jen Depoto. Last year, on the 15 year anniversary of 9/11, she was thinking about life, what was her purpose, and how can she move forward making an impact on the lives of those around her. For those of us who know Jen, know that just being in her presence, she makes an impact on your life and the space that she inhabits. She is a powerful presence and at times she may be better described as a force. While contemplating what life had in store for her, she let herself be open to receive what the world would later call her to do. Jen heard the calling to take her passion for physical fitness, her dedication to giving back to those who give everything, and her gift to empower and inspire and do something great. Jen contemplated how she could put all of these things together to share with the world what she had to offer.

Jen put together the 9/11 Run which runs from the Pentagon in Arlington,VA to Ground Zero in New York City over 3 days stopping in Fire Stations along the way to show support and love for those who put their lives on the line every day. 100% of all monies raised is donated to charities that support those who were and continue to be directly impacted by the events of 9/11. Jen does not do this run for herself, she does it to make sure that those who the world tends to forget are never forgotten.

Putting this event together was not and is not easy. It requires logistics, time, dedication, communication, organization, heart, blood, sweat, and tears, but through it all, Jen never gives up, never complains, never loses hope, and inspires all she shares her story with.

Watching Jen for her second year in a row go through this journey has been awe inspiring. She never believes in impossibility. She doesn’t know the word can’t. She truly understands that the world is a big place but that doesn’t mean that what we do on an individual level while on this planet doesn’t matter. With every thing that Jen does, she shows me and those who are around her, that she matters and more importantly that you matter. Every thing you do and say matters to someone and you surely make it count.

Jen has taught me a life time of lessons in the short time that I am blessed enough to call her a friend. She has taught me to never give up and never give in. She never compromises what she wants and more importantly who she is in order to achieve her goal. Jen understands the importance of putting in the work needed to accomplish a goal, never trying to take the easy way out or cut corners on what needs to be done. She has taught me the power of connection and that with friends by your side, you can accomplish what seems to be the impossible.

I wanted to share Jen’s story with you and share what I have learned from her as her friend so that you too can be inspired by who she is. If you know Jen, you may have your own lessons that you have learned and I encourage you to share them. For those of you who don’t know her, I encourage you to meet her and get to know the force of nature that I call friend.

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