Heart of Nashua: Three inspiring women with ties to the Gate City

I felt like writing about the human spirit, so I searched for a quote by someone more eloquent than I: “You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.”

William Faulkner

Three women have recently made news here, and although each has achieved something different from the other, all left their mark on the Gate City.

Celeste Corcoran lost both her legs during the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013, and her daughter, Sydney, also endured complicated injuries when her femoral artery was severed during the attacks. Celeste and her daughter have been through more pain and suffering than most of us will see in a lifetime, but they are also true survivors who have redefined their journey and purpose.

Celeste, who lives over the border in Massachusetts, was working out in Nashua at the Dynamic Strength and Conditioning Gym/Physical Fitness Center for the 50 Legs charity. The Florida-based organization assists amputees in receiving the proper care and quality prostheses they might not be able to afford.

50legs.org helped Celeste. And now she’s giving back. Despite suffering from challenging nerve pain, she was exercising for amputees, drawing large crowds to the gym and raising a lot of money for the cause. She’s a strong woman with a lot of energy and passion, and now, after reaching the five-year anniversary of the bombings, she looks ahead to the future and doesn’t let anything get in her way.

Meera Kurup of Merrimack is a junior at Bishop Guertin High School, and one who is setting the course for young girls to reach their full potential and not feel undeserving of the special skills or intellect they possess.

For a long time, women have avoided science careers because of societal stereotypes.

Not Meera. She’s been named the 2018 TechStudent of the Year by the New Hampshire High Tech Council. Meera was one of three female recipients chosen for one of the distinguished awards.

She is a bright light in the community and also represents the Granite State in the U.S. Youth Senate Program. Meera plans to major in computer science and minor in political science — an excellent role model for young women interested in the STEM arena (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).

“This is a big honor for me to be chosen,” Meera said. “I have always been interested in technology, and I feel we need more females interested in this field,”

And then there is Nashua’s Kay Kay Alexis, who took her smooth-as-silk vocals all the way to “American Idol,” battling her way through a field of 2,000 contestants to reach the top 24.

Last week, the 18-year-old was among five singers eliminated. Kay Kay had performed a duet with Pat Monahan, the lead singer of the band Train.

Personally, I thought she was incredible and believe she was robbed.

Kay Kay not only has the gift of a beautiful voice, but she possesses great poise, confidence and the determination to achieve even greater things.

American Idol was not the end of the road but just the beginning for this Gate City star.

“I love you guys, don’t worry ... trust me when I say there is WAY more coming this year,” Kay Kay tweeted to her fans.

Celeste, Meera and Kay Kay, you are inspiring more people than you could probably ever imagine.

Ms. Stylianos is a Nashua native. Her column is published weekly. She can be reached at jtania512@gmail.com.