Meet Gigi: She stops traffic!


Note from Audra:  Our response to Stephanie’s article about Tiffany was OVERWHELMING!  We think you’ll enjoy meeting Gigi too and plan to introduce you to as many of the traffic gals that want to be interviewed.  Kudos to Stephanie for being such a wonderfully kind and caring person and for walking and chatting with such interesting people in our small town.

Submitted by Stephanie Kayhan

This is Gigi.  She is the Mama Bear, the overseer of the girls.  Apparently, Tiffany had told the girls all about her interview and when I ran into her this morning, before I got to Gigi, Tiffany said that she had gotten them excited about their moment in the spotlight.  Gigi was waiting after the intersection, anxious to tell me her story.  When I reached her, she smiled and waved for me to cross the street to talk with her.  Gigi was standing proudly by her sign, and comfortable, at least for a short time, in the shade.  She never missed a beat, telling me so many things, all while directing traffic.  

Here’s her story:  Gigi is 50, a recovering addict, grandmother to 4, an inspiration to many.  She began by telling me about the company, GS Construction, which contracts the organization the girls are a part of, for these traffic jobs.  She couldn’t say enough nice things about the company.  Apparently they bend over backwards to help support the girls, making accommodations whenever needed, and understanding that “life happens”, and they will always get dedicated workers if those workers are treated with respect and honesty.  She’s right. Gigi elaborated a bit further on the organization, clarifying for me, that none of the girls are embarrassed that I share this with you.  In fact, Gigi said that she wanted me to include this information.  It’s important.  The organization helps support women who are former addicts themselves, or whose lives have been affected by addicts.  

Gigi said that she was an addict for 30 years and now has been sober for 4 years.  Her sobriety is the thing in life she is most proud of.  She prayed and prayed, and one day, she knew that day was hers to make her own and start anew and she hasn’t looked back…only forward.  She is in school now to get her Associates Degree.  She finished her first year, studying Psychology.  Her goal is to be a Substance Abuse Counselor.  Part of the program she is studying requires 500 hours of community service.  So when I asked her what she does in her free time, her answer was ready.  She said, “I rescue people. It’s what I do.”  She helps others with trips to detox centers, to counselors, to aid any way she can to help others on the long road to recovery.  She pours herself into her ‘calling’ and these long hours helping others will add up for her to meet the 500 hour requirement.  

Gigi told me that this job is so important for her, and for the other girls.  It keeps them busy, they get paid and there is a focus and an accountability that guides them down a better road.  She said that things change for people when they have hope.  She is intent on providing this.  “You can never take away someone’s hope. That’s all they have sometimes.”  I was quite humbled standing in her presence, actually.  She is so positive, full of energy and has a determination and a drive that is exceptional.  She is the light and hope for others in similar situations.  She is very proud of this and it shows.    

When I asked her about what she thinks about while directing traffic, she said she doesn’t have the luxury to really daydream.  She’s busy focused on the work at hand; making sure that everyone is doing their job and that everything is running smoothly.  I asked her if there was anything we as drivers could do to make their lives easier.  She said, “Yes!”  She said, “Please use your blinkers if you are at the intersection.”  She told me that if you are on one of the side streets waiting to get on to Mt. Vernon, if you use your blinkers, they’ll know which direction you’re going, and will make it easy for you to enter the traffic on Mt. Vernon.  She said, “It’s really simple and we’re really nice about that.”  

Gigi LOVES gospel music.  It’s the only kind of music she listens to.  She told me that she’ll listen to it on her phone until the battery dies.  It keeps her day bright.  Gigi, like Tiffany, would also gladly accept bottled water and fruit as a treat.  And as far as her favorite car goes…she told me that there is a Lexus convertible that she is particularly fond of and she loves seeing it.  And, I must add here, that as I was chatting with Gigi outside, a number of people honked and waved.  I told her, “Look!  They’re honking for you!”  She smiled and replied, “That’s really nice.  This is a good place to be.”

You are rich according to what you are, not according to what you have.

9 thoughts on “Meet Gigi: She stops traffic!

  1. Thank you Audra and Stephanie for sharing Gigi’s story. These girls are amazing.

  2. Great story and very moving. Gigi you are an amazing woman! I only hope that I can do half of the good that you are doing for others.

  3. Hi Audra

    I love the articles about the intersection girls! Its great to hear about them and see what awesome ladies they are!

    Also – really appreciate the book recommendation! I love to read and look forwarding to getting this one from library soon to enjoy.

    Have a great week & holiday weekend.


  4. What an wonderful and touching article. I applaud these ladies for working so hard to better themselves and others who are struggling. They are truly an inspiration.

  5. you are a genius for spotlighting the girls who stop traffic. It is a interesting, and helps ease the pain of the mt vernon traffic, and is making the girls feel good:)

  6. Loving these bios on these great ladies. I am excited at the wonderful progress they are making and for their employer making it possible. Wow!!!

  7. I LOVE the articles about the Traffic Ladies! Blessings to GS Construction for hiring these Ladies and giving them a chance to improve their lives. Stephanie, thank you for sharing these stories with us. What an inspiration to all of us!!

  8. Knowing the back story about these ladies and their hard work and determination, both on the job and off, sure does ease the frustration of being tied up in traffic! Thanks for letting us know about them.

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