Advice from Mom— Be True To Yourself

A mother’s day reflection from Karen Adams-Gilchrist

Photo of Karen Adams Gilchrist and Alice Adams

My mother, Alice Adams, instilled a host of core values in me that have made me the person that I am today. Some of the most compelling values are respect, love, and belief in oneself. It is difficult to truly respect, love, and have belief in others if you don’t first have that sense about yourself. She also instilled in me the importance of family, and all of the connections you will make in life’s journey. She taught me to always stay connected to family who will love me unconditionally, to be a strong woman of my word, and to do what you say you’re going to do. Her guidance and example empowered me to always deliver on my promises and to be convicted by something and stand strong for it. If you believe it, stand for it. And perhaps most importantly, she taught me to be a woman of faith.   

With these life lessons and core values, I have become a strong, independent, and successful woman because of the love, respect, and belief in myself that I received from my mother and family. I share these same values with my own family and in my professional work. As a CEO of an organization that supports people to live their best lives, I have to demonstrate respect and belief every day to ensure that we deliver on the promise of our mission. I feel certain in my work that what makes me successful is the fact that people around me know that if I can, then I will. If I can’t, I will say so.  

There are so many favorite memories from growing up, but some of my most treasured memories are Sundays at my mom’s house. Rising early to prepare for church. Attending the church service with her, and then exchanging that “knowing” look when church was almost over, and we could begin heading back to her house to prepare Sunday dinner. These are treasured memories of family joy, Sunday dinners with siblings and family were noisy with voices singing, talking, and laughing, and my mother would work her magic putting together the most amazing meal while instructing each of us in our own roles. She created a beautifully orchestrated family. 

Karen Adams-Gilchrist 
President and CEO of Providence Center

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