Wiregrass women share success stories for International Women's Day

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - The Wiregrass is full of inspiring, powerful women.

Two women in particular worked their way up to make a difference.

Julie Gonzalez is proof that if you put your mind to it, you can achieve.

"It took me 6 years to get a 4 year degree.."

She was once a single mother, working full-time while pursuing a college degree.

"...because there were times that I just could not go to school at night. There were things going on that just didn't allow that to happen, so it took me a little bit longer."

But that little bit did not stop her shine.

"My goal is basically to do the best that I could to be the best that I could be.."

So Julie worked her way up from entry level -- to management of an organization that helps others.

I started as an elementary school teacher…

Erica Hall always imagined teaching would bring her happiness. But as the years went by, she realized it didn't set her soul on fire.

Erica Hall, Assistant Principal, Dothan High School.
"From there I really kind of didn't want to go into administration because I loved the classroom so much.. but, um, I guess my calling was toward administration."

Erica left the classroom in 2012 and became a reading coach.
One year later, she became Vice Principal at Honeysuckle Middle School leading her to where she is today.

"Of course it has been a lot of hard work for me, being one of two women here in the administrative role."

But her success story doesn't stop there.

"I am also a member of the Alabama Army National Guard and I have been in the National Guard for 29 years and I am now a Major so I have always believed in working hard to achieve whatever you want to achieve."

Whether your career is in education or non-profit organizations, the message is clear..

"In the working world, well behaved women, seldom make history. So I say, chase your dreams, do whatever you can to make them come true.. don't depend on anyone else to make you happy.. go for your own happiness."

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