Jenna Bush Hager on How Motherhood Has Made Her A Stronger Leader

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Every time you like and share this post, Johnson & Johnson will donate $1 (per social action), up to $500,000, via the Global Moms Relay to help improve the health and well-being of families worldwide in support of [email protected], UNFPA, Girl Up, UNICEF USA, and Nothing But Nets.

My happiest childhood memories include spending time with my family. We spent many weekends at a little cabin on a lake in East Texas. Every night after dinner, my dad would ask: who wants to go on a night walk? My face would light up as I ran to grab my coat. Those walks were full of uninterrupted conversations about everything under the starlit sky. My parents were always incredibly supportive of my dreams and encouraged me to forge my own path. They never told us what to do; rather, they guided us through their example. Their commitment to family, community, and giving back shaped me into who I am today.

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Every child deserves to grow up in a safe and healthy environment. However, due to conflict, displacement, and poverty, millions of families around the world are struggling to survive without access to essential services like clean water, adequate nutrition, healthcare, and lifesaving vaccines. As a result, children are sick from preventable and treatable causes, missing out on school, and at risk of losing their futures.

After college, I moved to Latin America to intern with UNICEF, an organization that has worked to save, improve, and protect the lives of children and families around the world for more than 70 years. There I met some of the most inspirational women in my life — young mothers who, in the face of terrible adversity, were determined to improve their situation and give their kids the best possible start in life. With UNICEF support, these women were working to create a nurturing and protective family environment where their children could grow and thrive.

Since then, I’ve been proud to continue to support UNICEF’s work to save children’s lives and give families hope for the future as the Founding Chair of UNICEF Next Generation, a group of young leaders who advocate, educate and fundraise on behalf of UNICEF.

Throughout my career as an educator, author, and correspondent, I have worked tirelessly to bring attention to the causes I am most passionate about: education, literacy, and women’s and children’s issues. I have two beautiful daughters, Mila and Poppy Louise; experiencing motherhood has made me all the more committed to building a world in which every child has the opportunity to flourish.

As a Global Mom, I know all parents want the same thing — the chance for our children to lead happy, healthy, and productive lives. I look forward to the day when all families can see their children grow up to reach their full potential.

Jenna Hager is a contributing correspondent on NBC’s Today Show and an editor-at-large for Southern Living magazine. She is also the author of The New York Times bestseller Ana’s Story: A Journey of Hope, which she wrote after traveling to Latin America in 2006 as an intern with UNICEF. Ana’s Story is based on the life of a 17-year-old single mother with HIV who struggles to shield her child from the life she had of abuse and neglect. Hager remains involved with UNICEF and is the Founding Chair of UNICEF Next Generation, an initiative dedicated to motivating younger generations to help save and improve children’s lives around the world.

Hager holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Texas at Austin. She is also co-author of two children’s books: Read All About It! and Our Great Big Backyard. Hager is the daughter of former U.S. President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush. In 2008, she married Henry Hager and they now live in New York with their daughters Margaret Laura “Mila” and Poppy Louise.

You share, they give: Each time you ‘like’ or share this post via the social media icons on this post, watch this video or comment below, Johnson & Johnson will donate $1 (per social action), up to $500,000 divided equally between [email protected], UNFPA, Girl Up, UNICEF USA and Nothing But Nets. The Global Moms Relay was created by the United Nations Foundation and Johnson & Johnson with support from BabyCenter, Fatherly, Global Citizen, and Charity Miles to help improve the lives of families around the globe. Share this post with the hashtags #GlobalMoms and #JNJ, and visit GlobalMomsRelay.org to learn more.

You can also use the Donate A Photo* app and Johnson & Johnson will donate $1 up to $40,000 per cause when you upload a photo for [email protected], UNFPA, Girl Up, UNICEF USA or Nothing But Nets, to a maximum total of $200,000. You can help make a difference in seconds with the click of your mouse or snap of your smart phone.

* via the Donate A Photo app for iOS and Android. Johnson & Johnson has curated a list of trusted causes, and you can donate a photo to one cause, once a day. Each cause will appear in the app until it reaches its goal, or the donation period ends. If the goal isn’t reached, the cause will still get a minimum donation.

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