Happy International Women’s Day- Unsung Heroes: Women In Conservation – Stefanie Powers

Our Queen across the years – Not gonna lie, she’s my hero!

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If anyone deserves applause and admiration on International Women’s Day, it’s definitely Stefanie Powers! Ms. Powers grew up in a family surrounded by animals, and as little girl, she wanted to be a veterinarian; she became a dancer and actor instead, but somehow fate brought her back to her first love through a chance meeting with William Holden at a New Year’s party. Over the course of several years, they kept running into each other until they started a complicated and beautiful relationship in 1972. They traveled to Kenya, and to understand the impact this had on Ms. Powers, you have to know a little bit about William Holden outside of his career. He was an avid big game hunter, like most well off men of the time were, and he had been hunting on safari several times before the revelation that would change his life. After killing an antelope that reminded him of Audrey Hepburn (with whom he’d had a passionate, if ill-fated affair), he vowed never to harm another animal, and he never did. He became a conservationist – as Ms. Powers puts it – long before anyone even knew what that meant, certainly long before it was a fashionable virtue signal. He and his close friend, Don Hunt founded the Mount Kenya Game Ranch, which eventually became the Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy. Ms. Powers has said many times that it was easy to love what he loved – that’s what happens when you give your heart so unreservedly to another, after all, so Kenya became her second home. He shared the majesty of Africa and the backbreaking work involved in protecting endangered species with her, and when he died tragically young in 1981, Ms. Powers channeled her grief into creating the William Holden Wildlife Foundation. It serves as the educational branch of the Conservancy, helping young Kenyans learn to protect and preserve the unique beauty of their country and its wildlife. Nearly 40 years later, the Foundation’s mission of education is still going strong and so is Ms. Powers. She recently shared with us on social media that she’ll be traveling to Kenya soon and working with the Samburu tribe to economically empower young women through the creation of a craft cottage industry, and of course there is the ever-present work with the children who visit the Education Center every year. I will forever be a grateful beneficiary of Ms. Powers’ knowledge, encouragement, inspiration, grace, empowerment and love. For that, she is my hero. I just hope I’m worthy of her legacy.

5 thoughts on “Happy International Women’s Day- Unsung Heroes: Women In Conservation – Stefanie Powers

  1. Que homenagem mais linda para a Mulher mais linda, incrível, inteligente e fantástica!!!! Ela é simplesmente maravilhosa!😘❤🌹🇧🇷


  2. Jennie, it occured to me the other day that Stefanie would be included in this series. What a day to choose to honour her. It is true, those of us that know her work for conservation Bit I’m sure there are many that are not aware of this. A lovely piece, well written and I so love the photos you chose for this. An inspiration for all of is that can share in her life.


    1. I was going to save her story until the end because she inspired this whole thing- but then I remembered International Women’s Day and knew I had to post about her right away♥️


  3. Jennie, what a great story, and you have the end correct. She is a great educator in her own right. She has truly become an inspiration to a lot of people.


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