We all have dreams on what we aspire to become, but for many, twists and turns in life can sometimes squash or alter those ideas. It can be easy to give up on those dreams and settle into a familiar routine, but for others, that path just isn’t good enough. One local woman is proving that with dedication to your dreams, hard work and balance in your life, you can achieve exactly what you set out to become.
Hannah Wright is a 2014 graduate of Sandpoint High School and leads one of the more interesting lives you’ll find in a young woman from North Idaho. “I began modeling when I was 16 when I found a local photographer in town, Tonya Oleman,” said Hannah. “She did my first set of pictures to start my portfolio, and it took off from there. I’ve been doing it on and off now since then with photographers from Coeur d’Alene, Spokane, Boise, Seattle, Los Angeles and Sandpoint.” Hannah has graced many publications and was recently on the June issue cover of fashion magazine WTF (What The Fashion!). “I was asked to do a photo shoot for Eric Barro; he is the publisher and photographer for WTF magazine. We both loved each other’s work and wanted to create some amazing images together,” said Hannah.
For many, becoming a model and being published would be dream come true enough, but not for Hannah, as another career has always been in the back of her mind, even before she started posing. “My mom was an EMT/firefighter, along with most of my family. Hearing my mom tell stories about her experiences was always the coolest thing and so inspiring. I’ve always been interested in the medical field, and since I was little wanted to be a firefighter.” Today you’ll find Hannah working for Bonner County EMS as she awaits her application to go through for paramedic school. She is also volunteering her time and gaining more experience with the Northside Fire Department. “Volunteering at Northside Fire has been a wonderful experience as well. Being the only female at a fire department could seem intimidating for most, but I’m treated like everyone else and treated with so much respect.” At just 21 years old, Hannah continues to learn from each experience out on the job. “Every call that I go on is different, even if the origin is the same. Every patient is different, and I do learn something new every time I go out,” she said.
For many 20-somethings, balancing two careers, preparing for upcoming school and trying to still have an active social life would be tough to juggle, but for Hannah, she’s just as busy at home as she is on the job. “My son is almost a year and a half. He is the highlight of every day and completely changed my life for the better when I had him. He’s the sweetest boy and sometimes too smart for my own good.” Anyone who has or has raised a toddler knows full well the amount of energy and attention they require, but true to her always determined personality, Hannah is devoted to giving her young son as much love as she can. “It’s been the best experience being a mother. Even being a young mother is so awesome. I still have enough energy to chase him around and keep up with him. He is by far my favorite person!”
Like any working parent, there are always daily challenges to overcome and by no means does that escape Hannah. She has a family who loves and supports her child, which allows her to continue making life better for herself and her son. “My biggest difficulty balancing life and work is the feeling to need to work and stay busy but wanting to stay home with my son every day. It doesn’t matter if I’m gone for a 48-hour shift or just 15 minutes for a store run, I miss him every time I leave.”
At every turn, Hannah is knocking down traditional stereotypes; models are self-interested, becoming a paramedic and firefighter is a man’s game, and young mothers can’t work and raise a child at the same time. Older generations often look at millennials as lazy and entitled, but Hannah is proof that stereotype isn’t always true either. For anyone, Hannah’s life would seem one of great difficulty to balance, but she says any young woman can do it if they find their own strength.
“Some advice I would give other young women is to just strive for your goals. Even if they seem unreasonable or out of reach at this moment, if you keep working hard you’ll be able to achieve them. I’ve also made it a point in my life to always listen to people’s advice for me but not always taking it. Don’t ever let people tell you what you can’t do and what you can’t achieve.”