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The Yadam Seven 7’s: Woman of the Year

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.  Welcome to the first ever Yadam Seven 7’s, a special list prepared for your reading enjoyment where 7 contributors will unleash a cascade of 7 lists of what they believe best exemplifies 2012.  We’ll begin with the first topic which goes to each contributors Woman of the Year.

Kayla Harrison:

By Adam Bross

Kayla Harrison would have been my choice for the most important athlete of 2012; however, I feel it is more an honor to proclaim her women of the year than athlete of the year.  Kayla changed the lives of thousands this year through an altered outlook of a social ignominy and proving the value of never quitting even when life seems to be at a crossroads where there no optimal option seems available.  Harrison claimed America’s first gold medal in the Olympics for Judo this year.  The young judoka hails from my hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio (technically Middletown, but shhh) and it disappoints more greatly the Cincinnati media did such an awful job of relaying how amazing Kayla’s story is.  2012 was a year defined by many things, but perhaps the most disturbing is how rampant the disgrace of sexual abuse of children is in America.  Kayla is one of the many who was sexually abused as a child, but through the aid of friends, family, and personal strength; the horrid events of her childhood had no hope for keeping Kayla from fulfilling a dream.  Kayla proved someone does not have to be defined by a past.  She considered quitting judo, running away, and suicide because of the loathsome actions of her former coach; the demon Kayla quelled when she testified against him in court in February of 2008.  Kayla proved something important to everyone around the globe on the globe’s largest stage:  life is never defined by who you were, but how you overcome the past to prove yourself a better person in the future.  She is truly the most phenomenal women of 2012.


By Cameron Conrad

Shakira is currently working on her 8th studio album and the first single is expected to be “Truth or Dare”. She was also featured in the lead single “Get It Started” for Pitbull’s upcoming album Global Warming. Many people are highly anticipating the release of Shakira’s next album, but that’s not why she’s my woman of the year. Early in her career, when Shakira was just 20 years old, she founded the Pies Descalzos Foundation, a charity that strives to improve education of poor children in Columbia. She has also performed in a number of benefit concerts, including one in 2008 that raised money for Shakira’s Latin America in Solidarity Action Foundation (ALAS). ALAS is dedicated to facilitating early childhood development through the creation of education, health, and nutrition programs that benefit millions of poor children in Latin America. In a speech she gave at the University of Oxford, she stated “That is how I want the youth of 2060 to see us: That our mission for global peace consisted of sending 30,000 educators to Afghanistan, not 30,000 soldiers. That in 2010, world education became more important than world domination.” Her willingness to support improvements in education is particularly important because she has donated her money to build schools and develop education programs that can actually help the next generation in the long run. Shakira’s commitment to solving global poverty through education is inspiring, and if other people (and especially celebrities) were as dedicated to improving the lives of others I’m sure the world could be a much better place.

Janna Ryan

By Vince Kampel


Quick, who was the most badass person to surface in 2012? Well, that’s actually a pretty wide open field that includes the likes of Felix Baumgartner, Manti Te’o, and 2 Chainz. However, no list is complete without throwing Paul Ryan’s name into the mix. Ryan, the Miami-fratting, marathon-running, bowhunting, widows-peaking Republican VP candidate, clearly turned a lot of heads in 2012. Despite the GOP’s election loss, pundits everywhere agree that Ryan has an illustrious career in politics ahead of him.  So who is Janna Ryan exactly? Well, behind every great man there’s a great woman. And behind every huge badass is a courageous woman who must handle his badassery. Janna, an Oklahoma native, had a short yet successful career as a tax specialist in Washington, D.C. before marrying Paul in 2000. Called a “practical conservative”, Janna strongly supported her husband’s campaign in 2012. So what has she done to earn my choice for Woman of 2012? Well unlike her counterparts such as Ann Romney, Michelle Obama, and  even Hilary Clinton, Ryan spent much of her time away from the spotlight. In fact, I would bet you didn’t even know her name before reading this little honorary article. That’s just how Ryan does things; instead of moving to Washington like most Senatorial families, she and her husband felt staying in their home state of Wisconsin would offer the best upbringing for their three young children.  Did Janna Ryan do anything remarkable in 2012? That depends, do you consider being a committed and devoted mother remarkable? I do, and that’s why I offer this tribute to her. Thanks go out to Janna Ryan just for being a good mom. Moms could use as many “thank you”s as they can get. Plus, it takes quite the woman to handle a widow’s peak like Paul’s.

Melanie Iglesias

By Jack Marcheschi

If truth is beauty, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then my eyes have seen the truth. Truth, thy name is Melanie Iglesias.

Now, I may be considered a “pig”,or a “typical guy”,  because the person I’m choosing for Woman of the Year is purely because she is a level ten smokestack, but hear me out.
Melanie burst on to the modeling scene like a supernova. She has quickly risen to the top of her craft, and every agency wants a piece of her.
She was added to Maxim’s lineup of woman last year, and became their top selling model. Additionally, she dabbles in the fields of music, as well as theatre. Although those careers aren’t doing as well as her modeling, give Melanie some time before she starts cooking.
On a more serious note though, she’s been through a lot too. She grew up in a rough part of New York, with a single mother, too. She’s got a good head on we shoulders, and now all of her hard work is paying off.
That’s why she’s my choice for woman of the year.

Darla Moore

By Matthew Murphy

For any sports aficionados out there, this name will be recognized since Darla Moore was the first women to be admitted into the prestigious Augusta National Golf Course this past August. On one hand, this does show equality penetrating even into the depths of sports, but on the other hand, who the hell is Darla Moore? I liked the fact that Augusta was an all-male club not because I hate women but because it was one of those quirky traditions that I find interesting. It brought a little more intrigue to the golf world. Augusta National Golf Club was where many of the original secrets and traditions of golf are guarded zealously, but now one of its own longstanding traditions has fallen. I extend my congratulations to Darla for having enough personal prestige to be invited to join this highly respected golf fraternity, but at the same time, I am sad to see it go. What I really wonder is if she even plays golf at all, but I digress.

Beyoncé Knowles

By Zac Reid

I’ve been dying my whole life to somehow get the wonderful opportunity to share my feelings on this wonder woman. Beyonce is undoubtedly the woman of 2012. Hell she’s definitely the woman of the 2010’s, and I’d contest the 2000’s (and VH1 can give me some back up here).  To start with, Beyonce is the most beautiful woman alive. If you haven’t seen her, here you go.  As you all know, she and Jay-Z (making up the most powerful couple ever, historically) started off 2012 with the birth of their daughter Blue Ivy Carter. I mean we all expected this kid to be some sort of super human, but I don’t think anyone guessed that Blue would become the youngest person ever to make it on Billboard’s chart from a clip of her actually crying in Jay and Bey’s song “Glory”. I’m not a crazed traditionalist who believes in arranged marriages, but if I could set my son up…Aside from Blue Ivy, Beyonce has been working with Kanye, Missy Elliot, Ne-Yo, Jay-Z, and others, giving features in their songs. On top of that, she is releasing a documentary on HBO this upcoming February on her role as a mother and a businesswoman, detailing her childhood through the birth of her child, and on top of everything, she’s been cast to the voice of the star Queen Tara in the upcoming 3D animated movie Epic.  While this year, she didn’t release an album matching the likes of “I Am…Sasha Fierce” or “4”, she is still doing plenty to further her music, given that probably most importantly she was chosen to sing at the Super Bowl Halftime Show, given that honor that legends like Madonna, The Boss, and Paul McCartney have all been given in past years.

Did I mention she’s the most gorgeous woman on the planet?

Michelle Obama

By Ted Schoen

Strong, independent, and loving are a few words that describe the First Lady of the United States.  As one of the most powerful women in the world, Michelle Obama has served as a role model for women across the globe. Michelle always acts a mother first, caring for her two daughters, Malia and Sasha.  She has proven to be a supportive confidante to President Obama in his first term, giving him the strength to continue fighting for the great people of America.  Through her campaign Let’s Move!, she has attacked childhood obesity by promoting healthy eating and exercise in schools.  She has also recently authored American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America, which promotes healthy eating and gardening.  Throughout her husband’s career in politics, the media has highlighted her style and grace to great extents.  She has acted as a fashion icon over the past four years, and has become a “trendsetter” in many cases.  In her career, Michelle has served as a lawyer, Chicago city administrator, and community outreach worker.  She has also spent her time in volunteering and service work.  In 2008 and 2012, Michelle gained great support on the campaign trail, helping President Obama secure two terms in office.   With the President’s second inauguration schedule for January, Michelle will continue to be in the spotlight of the world for the next four years.


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One thought on “The Yadam Seven 7’s: Woman of the Year

  1. Corbit Harrison Sr on said:

    Kayla Harrison is my 2nd cousin. I know that I join her parents, all of her many relatives, and every citizen of Middletown, Ohio could not be any prouder of Kayla. She is certainly every young woman’s inspiration!!

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