How this grandma feels after a video of her joyfully voting for a woman went viral.

America may very soon have a female president for the first time. And the historical significance of that hasn't been lost on women like Vickie Wilkinson.

Wilkinson, a 60-year-old former teacher who lives in Montana, recently cast her vote for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton — the first woman to be nominated for president by a major political party — and it was a day she won't soon forget.

"I got to vote for a woman for president," Wilkinson says through laughs and tears in the video captured by her daughter, Sarah Dean, who shared it online. "We finally made it."


The video quickly went viral, garnering millions of views across various social media platforms overnight. Although it's easy to understand why the video took off, Wilkinson's emotional experience isn't unique this election cycle — many woman know exactly how she felt in that moment.

Women across America have been itching for the chance to vote someone into the country's highest office who looks like them.

They've been itching a long time.

Older women in particular are feeling especially moved by their ballots this year.

(Of course, many women aren't supporting Clinton, but the gender divide is especially stark this year.)

Some of these voters were born before women even had the right to vote.

"It feels very wonderful," this 101-year-old noted of the experience, proudly sporting a patriotic sticker.

"This election means that women can achieve anything," 102-year-old Katherine Blood Hoffman of Florida said while waving her American flag.

Understandably, getting to cast a ballot for the first female presidential candidate who has a chance at winning is a big deal.

After 44 men in a row, 2016 seems like a great year to buck the trend.

But the fact that Clinton is a woman isn't the only reason these women are excited to vote for her.

They're not voting for her just because she's a woman — she's a woman who also represents them, their values, and their vision for the future. Wilkinson, for example, supports Clinton's plans to take on gun violence, address children's issues, and fight for gender equality in the workplace.

“I think that women do have a particular viewpoint to bring into the arena,” she said.

But we also shouldn't dismiss the fact that Clinton simply being a woman in and of itself makes a difference. Acknowledging the importance of Clinton's gender isn't playing the "woman card," as some like to put it — it's celebrating another momentous step forward for our country.

Take a look at 98-year-old Emily, who can't contain that smile.

Or 98-year-old Estelle, who looks over the moon holding her absentee ballot.

These women, more than anyone else, have every reason to feel great about helping make history.

Wilkinson says she's been stunned by the overwhelmingly positive reactions she's gotten to the video after it spread across social media.

“The wonderful things that people have said have reinforced that I’m not the only person that feels this way," she says, noting the barrage of kind messages from both friends and complete strangers who had similar experiences casting their ballots.

Photo via Sarah Dean, used with permission.

Beyond what a woman in the White House means to her personally, Wilkinson understands the crucial message seeing a female president will send to young people.

“It was equally as awesome to vote for a black man for president,” she says. “But I’m a woman, and I have a beautiful daughter, and a wonderful step-daughter, and granddaughters — I’m so excited for them because they don’t have to look at the world the same way I did.”

Photo via Sarah Dean, used with permission.

“I’m listening to my 12-year-old granddaughter now, and she’s very thrilled that this old-fashioned view of, ‘Oh, well only boys can do this’ is now gone," she says.

"'Girls can do this too. I can do this, grandma.'"

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Harriet Tubman was the best known "conductor" on the Underground Railroad, a network of safe houses that helped thousands of enslaved black Americans make their way to freedom in the north in the early-to-mid 1800s. Tubman herself escaped slavery in 1849, then kept returning to the Underground Railroad, risking her life to help lead others to freedom. She worked as a spy for the Union Army during the Civil War, and after the war dedicated her life to helping formerly enslaved people try to escape poverty.

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On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

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Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

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Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

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In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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