If you think this photo is just a celebration of a win, you would be wrong. Way, way wrong.

This is not about winning. Not even a tiny bit. This is about dedication. About setting a goal as a young girl, persevering, staying true to your dream, and then realizing that all that pays off.

She did not set out to “win”. She set out to have a specific experience, and prove to herself that she could do it. And she did. And forever that blue ribbon will represent dedication, perseverance, and everything else a young woman needs to feel confident and know that dreams are worth the work.

To all young girls out there with big dreams: trust the process. Stay true to your path. Ignore the naysayers. Look beyond those more fortunate than you, those with resources that make their path easier. Fall down, get back up. Learn from everything.

Nothing, absolutely nothing, replaces hard work. And nothing replaces the feeling in your body, mind and spirit when it pays off. Dream big. Work hard. Trust the process.