Taryn Guerrero Davis, American Widow Project
In May 2007, Taryn Guerrero Davis lost her husband, Michael, in the Iraq War. Widowed at 21, while she was still in college, Davis began traveling the country in an attempt to connect with other young women who had experienced similar loss. The experience led her to form the nonprofit American Widow Project, which provides support to women in military families. As she states on the nonprofit’s website, “We do not hold seminars or have speakers, we have each other.”
What began as a documentary has now blossomed into an organization with a national hotline, a newsletter written by members of the group, and WidowU, which provides educational resources for military widows who want to improve themselves while balancing the demands of work and family. The American Widow Project was honored at the VH1 Do Something Awards in 2011, and Davis has been featured as a “Community Crusader” on CNN.
In June 2015, Davis was invited to take part in the “Social Game-Changer” panel at the Forbes Women’s Summit in New York City. The event -- of which the Forbes School of Business® at Ashford University was a sponsor -- featured 250 women from a number of industries, including education, business, media, entertainment, and philanthropy.
Speaking about her success and the challenges facing today’s young women, Davis urged those with ideas to take risks – just as she did – and see what happens.
“We live in a world where people think that if it doesn’t fit in this box, or if it’s not at the right moment, then we shouldn’t do it,” Davis says, “You know, what I need are more people who are willing to say, ‘Hey, I have this crazy idea, will you let me try?’”