By: Kevin Schwaller, Rebecca Brumfield
PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — One Peoria woman has turned her life of poverty, child loss, and hardship into a completely different story.
Bridget Booker has transformed her tests into a testimony that women are remarkable.
Booker, an ironworker, has a long list of accomplishments. Much like the stickers on her hard hat, that each signify a moment of growth.
“I was determined to prove to people that women have the right to be where they want to be at, provide for their children how they want to, not give up,” Booker said. “To be an example for other people. You can make it.”
In 2015, Booker lost a son. The trade company she worked for at the time didn’t have a maternity plan.
“I lost him that May 5, that Saturday, and I was back to work Monday,” she said. “Less than 48 hours.”
That loss sent her on a path to make a difference for other women in the trades, so they wouldn’t have to go through what she did. Her story helped spearhead the maternity provision policy, a benefit plan that’s now being used across the nation and Canada.
“I wanted to know why if I’m able to give my perform and give my best in a job, why isn’t that job giving the best to me?”
As a woman of color working in the trades, and also a foreman, her nominator, Nick Orr said she has overcome adversity in more ways than one.
“She could very well have said, ‘I went through it, I did it,’ and never looked back, but she’s going back there and laying the groundwork for a lot of other people to do the same thing to make it a little bit easier in that aspect,” Orr said.
As she’s impacted thousands of women across the U.S., Booker now owns her own company– Reign Construction. From apprentice to boss, Booker encapsulates what it means to be a remarkable woman in central Illinois.
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